HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - When California named Justin Wilcox head football coach on Jan. 14 he wasted little time extending a job offer to former Oregon offensive line coach Steve Greatwood.
"Whatever day it was that I got hired, I want to say that he was there the next morning," Wilcox, a former Oregon defensive back, said today during Pac-12 Media Days.
In fact, Wilcox already had Greatwood in place in anticipation of landing the Cal job. Cal announced Wilcox as its next head coach on Jan. 14. CSN broke the news that same day that Greatwood would be headed to Cal.
"I think the world of him as a person," Wilcox, 40, said. "I think his track record speaks for itself in terms of his coaching and we're fortunate to have him on our staff. He's the type of guy that everybody can learn from. I know he's energized. It's been really great to be back around him. It's been a number of years since I've got to see him a lot. Just really fortunate for us. A lot of experience."
Wilcox and Greatwood, 59, have Oregon connections but weren't there at the same time. Wilcox played defensive back for the Ducks from 1996 through 1999. Greatwood coached offensive line and tight ends from 1982 through 1994 before moving on to the NFL, Maryland and then USC. He returned to Oregon in 2000 and remained there until the entire staff was let go last fall following a 4-8 season.
Greatwood, however, did coach Wilcox's older brother Josh, who played tight end at UO from 1993 through 1996. The Wilcox brothers are the sons of Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker and former Oregon star Dave Wilcox and hail from Junction City, Ore.
California running back Tre Watson, whom Greatwood helped attempt recruit to Oregon, said the offensive line appears to be responding well to its new coach.
"He definitely makes it simper for the offensive line so they're able to pick things up," Watson said. "He brings a different dynamic."