Tennessee Lands Boise State Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox

D. WalkerAnalyst IFebruary 2, 2010


When Derek Dooley took over the head coaching duties at Tennessee he knew recruiting was going to be the key to a successful SEC program.

Dooley may have landed one of the biggest recruits of his short tenure as the Vol's head coach in luring Boise State defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox away from the Broncos as the new defensive coordinator at Tennessee.

Wilcox, 33, just finished his fourth season as defensive coordinator at Boise State and his sixth season overall after working as a graduate assistant for the Broncos from 2001-2002.

During the first three seasons with Wilcox in charge of the defense, Boise State led the Western Athletic Conference in total defense and scoring defense each year.

Wilcox burst onto the national coaching stage with his innovative defensive strategy that Boise State employed against offensive powerhouse Oregon in holding the Ducks to only eight points.

In the Fiesta Bowl against TCU, one of the nation's best offenses averaging over 40 points per game, the Bronco's came out in a defensive alignment featuring one linebacker and managed to hold the Horned Frogs to only 10 points.

Before assuming the duties as the Bronco defensive coordinator, Wilcox spent three seasons at California as the linebackers coach.

Wilcox played at Oregon from 1995-99 and was a part of four Duck teams that advanced to bowl games. He played in the 1997 Las Vegas Bowl, the 1998 Aloha Bowl, and the 1999 Sun Bowl.

The Wilcox name is one very familiar to football fans. Justin’s father is Dave Wilcox, a member of the Boise State Athletic Hall of Fame. The elder Wilcox played for the Broncos in 1960 and 1961 and earned JC All-America honors before transferring to Oregon. Dave Wilcox went on to become an All-Pro linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

Justin Wilcox is not only one of the nation's great young defensive masterminds but he's also an outstanding recruiter. Wilcox is credited with talking BSU head coach Chris Petersen into offering quarterback Kellen Moore a scholarship when few Division-I programs had shown much interest.

Moore was the nation's number one rated quarterback this past year and was named to numerous All-American teams.

It is expected that defensive line coach Pete Kwiatkowski will be named the new defensive coordinator at Boise State to replace Wilcox.