Staff turnover in the Justin Wilcox era

Cal has officially completed his staff for the 2021 season with the addition of Keith Heyward as external linebacker / nickelbacks coach, taking the place of former co-defense coordinator Tim DeRuyter. Cal also lost head coach and fitness coach Torre Becton to Texas and brought in Brian Johnson from Arizona (via a stop at Arkansas State) to replace him.

This has been a recurring theme at Cal throughout Wilcox’s time, with the Bears having to replace at least one trainer each off-season for the first four years at Berkeley. Only two coaches remain from the first staff, both with different titles from when they started.

Original staff: Season 2017

Beau Baldwin – Offensive Coordinator / RB

Nick Edwards – wide receiver

Marques Tuiasosopo – QBs / Passing Game Coordinator / Recruiting Coordinator

Steve Greatwood – Offensive Line

Charlie Ragle – TEs / Special Teams Coordinator

Tim DeRuyter – Defensive Coordinator / Inside Linebackers

Jerry Azzinaro – Defensive Line

Tony Tuioti – Outside Linebackers

Gerald Alexander – Defensive backs

Of this initial group, only Jerry Azzinaro left after one season and left to become UCLA’s defensive coordinator, a role he still holds under Chip Kelly. This first staff was before the NCAA established a 10th assistant coach in college football, which enabled the addition of another coach on site.

2018 seasonal staff

Baldwin – Offensive coordinator

Edwards – wide receivers

Burl Toler III – Running Backs

Greatwood – Offensive Line

Tuiasosopo – QBs / Passing Game Coordinator / Recruitment Coordinator

Ragle – Tight Ends / Special Teams coordinator

Tuioti – Defensive line

DeRuyter – Defensive Coordinator / Outside Linebackers

Peter Sirmon – Associate Head Coach / Inside Linebackers

Alexander – Defensive backs

In the wake of Azzinaro’s departure, Tony Tuioti trained the defensive line during the 2018 season, Tim DeRuyter took over the external linebacker group and the newly hired Peter Sirmon took over the stakes defenders. Sirmon left his position in Louisville to be reunited with Justin Wilcox.

Cal also brought in former Bear Burl Toler III, who had worked at Cal as a quality management coach in 2013-15. Toler was the recently allowed 10th assistant at the time. Cal also brought in Andrew Browning 2018 as quality management coach, as Browning was not retained after Sean Kugler was fired at UTEP.

2019 Staff Staff

Baldwin – Offensive Coordinator / QBs

Toler – wide receivers

Edwards – Running Backs

Tuiasosopo – Tight Ends

Greatwood – Offensive Line

Andrew Browning – defensive line

DeRuyter – Defensive Coordinator / Outside linebackers

Sirmon – Co-Defensive Coordinator / Associate Head Coach / Linebackers / Recruitment Coordinator

Alexander – Defensive backs

Ragle – Special Teams Coordinator

This was the year of the offensive launch, with Beau Baldwin returning to coaching quarterbacks, Burl Toler taking over the wide receiver group, Nick Edwards taking over the running space and Marques Tuiasosopo overseeing the tight ends (which he trained at USC).

When Tony Tuioti left Cal for Nebraska just before the start of spring football until 2019, Browning went in where he left off. Sirmon also added a couple of titles to his name, probably with the most titles in Cal football history.

Season staff 2020

Bill Musgrave – Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks

Aristotle Thompson – Running Backs

Toler – wide receivers

Tuiasosopo – Tight Ends

Angus McClure – Offensive Line

Browning – Defensive line

DeRuyter – Associate Head Coach / Co-Defensive Coordinator / Outside Linebackers

Sirmon – Defensive Coordinator / Inside Linebackers / Recruitment Coordinator

Marcel Yates – Defensive Backs

Ragle – Special Teams Coordinator

2020, the most chaotic year, brought the biggest change in Justin Wilcox’s coaching staff. Beau Baldwin and Nick Edwards went to Cal Poly, where Baldwin was hired as the next head coach. Steve Greatwood retired after the Redbox Bowl and Gerald Alexander took the defensive back coaching job with the Miami Dolphins.

To replace them, Justin Wilcox went back to his roots. A longtime Oregon connection brought Bill Musgrave to Berkeley, a mutual friend brought Aristotle Thompson up the coast to the East Bay, the Boise State connection brought Marcel Yates in, and Angus McClure’s Northern California roots brought him to Cal’s staff.

Seasonal staff 2021

Musgrave – Offensive Coordinator / QBs

Thompson – RB: er

Toler – WRs

Tuiasosopo – TE

McClure – OL

Browning – DL

Sirmon – Defensive Coordinator / ILB / Recruitment Coordinator

Keith Heyward – Outside Linebackers / Nickelbacks

Yates – Cornerbacks and Safeties

Heyward is now taking over the external linebacker group and the nickel group, leading to speculation that Cal will use more of the “Star” position, a hybrid OLB / Nickel / Safety site that they started working on in the spring of 2020. Daniel Scott, Trey Paster and early reporter Hunter Barth could see some time here.

Right now, Justin Wilcox has not fired an assistant coach and has only had to replace an assistant three of the four years he has been at Cal. From his first staff, only Marques Tuiasosopo and Charlie Ragle remain. In total, Wilcox has had seven assistants leave and has made eight appointments since its first staff, a surprising level of continuity given the coach’s movement in college football.

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