Sep 18, 2021; Berkeley, California, USA; California Golden Bears head coach Justin Wilcox stands on the field with crutches before the game against the Sacramento State Hornets at FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Cal coach Justin Wilcox signs extension through 2027

Despite just two winning seasons in five years, California signed coach Justin Wilcox to a contract extension through the 2027 season, the school announced Thursday.

The extension tacked four seasons on to a deal that was slated to end after the 2023 campaign.

“Justin Wilcox is a football coach who shares our values and vision, and we want to ensure that he is the leader of our program for the long term,” Golden Bears athletic director Jim Knowlton said. “He is a great fit for Cal Athletics and our university, with a philosophy that places an emphasis on developing young men on the field, in the classroom and as people.

“I am confident our fans and alumni share my enthusiasm for the direction of our program, and the level of success we have seen to date has set a foundation for sustained excellence in the future.”

Wilcox, 45, has a 26-28 record in five seasons as Cal coach. The team went 5-7 in 2021.

The Golden Bears played in bowl games in 2018 and 2019. The team’s best record under Wilcox is an 8-5 mark in 2019, when it was ranked as high as No. 15.

“I appreciate the opportunity to be the head football coach at Cal and am excited about the future of our program,” Wilcox said in the news release. “I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute I have spent with the extraordinary young men who have been in our program. We are in a great position and strongly aligned with our university thanks to the leadership of Chancellor Carol Christ and Jim Knowlton.

“I thank both of them for their continued trust and confidence in me to lead a football program that will make the entire Cal community proud. We have very high expectations. I think we’ve earned the right to expect more, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

After the 2021 season, Wilcox was in the mix for the Oregon opening and reportedly turned down an offer to replace Mario Cristobal as coach. Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lenning eventually was hired by the Ducks.

Wilcox is a native of Eugene and played defensive back for the Ducks from 1996-99.

–Field Level Media