Former Tennessee Assistant Among Favorites for Oregon Job

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    After the departure of Mario Cristobal at Oregon, the Ducks are officially on the hunt for a new head coach. Cristobal left Oregon to take over at Miami, which has left the Ducks searching for a new program leader.

    While there are a number of candidates that are being considered for the job, one name stands out among the favorites in the race. That would be former Tennessee assistant and current California head coach Justin Wilcox.

    Wilcox was an assistant on Tennessee’s staff as the Vols’ defensive coordinator from 2010 to 2011. During his time at Tennessee, Wilcox was on Derek Dooley’s staff in Knoxville.

    After his time in Knoxville had come to a close, Wilcox bounced around as a defensive coordinator for Washington (12-13), USC (14-15), and Wisconsin (2016) before taking over as the Cal head coach in 2017.

    Ultimately, Wilcox is being looked at for the Oregon job partially due to his strong ties to that area. Wilcox was born in Eugene, OR, and played for the Oregon Ducks in college. After graduating high school in 1995, Wilcox followed in the footsteps of a family tradition, accepting a scholarship to play for the Ducks and head coach Mike Bellotti. Wilcox was at Oregon from 1996 to 1999 where he was a defensive back. While his career on the field never panned out, he did stick around in the sport, taking his first graduate assistant job in 2001.

    In his five years as the Cal head coach, Wilcox has a coaching record of 26-28 overall and 15-25 in conference play. Wilcox also has a record of 1-1 in bowl games, although, has not led the Bears to a bowl appearance since 2019. Cal finished the 2021 season with a record of 5-7.

    According to a Sports Illustrated article from Tuesday, BetOnline.ag has put out odds for the next head coach at Oregon. Former Tennessee assistant Justin Wilcox has the second-highest odds, which were set at “2-to-1 or +200.” UCLA head coach Chip Kelly has the highest odds on the site, putting him at “7-to-4 or +175.”

    Surprisingly enough, there is another familiar name that wound up on the betting odds list as well. Sitting in the ninth spot is Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel, who is at “16-to-1 or +1600.”

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.