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Report: Notable Head Coach Turned Down Oregon Job

An Oregon cheerleader running onto the field.

EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 15: The Oregon Ducks cheerleaders run onto the field against of the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles on September 15, 2012 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

The Oregon Ducks have gotten all kinds of high praise for hiring Dan Lanning as their new head coach. But a new report suggests that the now-former Georgia Bulldogs defensive coordinator wasn't the first coach they offered a contract to.

According to John Canzano of The Oregonian, Cal head coach Justin Wilcox was offered the job on Friday. But he apparently turned them down despite an interesting offer from Oregon.

Per the report, Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens told Wilcox that the school was ready to build a big marketing campaign around Wilcox. The plan was to have printed t-shirts available when Wilcox was brought on at his introductory conference.

Wilcox is a former Oregon defensive back. He played four seasons for the Ducks under Mike Bellotti from 1996 to 1999.

Justin Wilcox was born in Eugene, Oregon and knows West Coast football like the back of his hand. He got his first assistant coaching gig at Boise State before taking up the linebackers coaching job at Cal.

Between 2006 and 2016, Wilcox served as defensive coordinator at Boise State, Tennessee, Washington, USC and Wisconsin. He was hired as head coach at Cal in 2017 and has done well with the Golden Bears.

Wilcox is 26-28 at the helm with two winning seasons and two bowl appearances including a Redbox Bowl win in 2019.

Would Justin Wilcox have been a better candidate for head coach at Oregon?