Peter Sirmon joins Cal football as associate head coach defense, inside linebackers coach

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Former Louisville defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon is now a part of Cal football and will join a familiar face in head coach Justin Wilcox. Sirmon will be the team’s associate head coach and also the inside linebackers coach.

A native of Washington, Sirmon will head to the Golden State after spending nine seasons coaching for various programs.

“I’m excited to be joining the University of California and reuniting with Justin Wilcox.” Sirmon said in a press release. “We are like-minded in what we believe and in our approaches to both football and life. I’m looking forward to coaching championship football at Cal and helping create the best possible experience for the student-athletes in this program both on and off the field.”

At Louisville, Sirmon helped the Cardinals to an overall 8-5 record and a 4-4 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Louisville ranked 62nd in the nation in total defense, allowing 388.1 yards per game, whereas Cal came in at 95th, allowing 429.9 yards per game.

Sirmon and Wilcox also have a relationship that goes back to 2010 when the coaches were both on staff at Tennessee; they also had coaching experience together at Washington (2012-13) and USC (2014-15).

“Peter Sirmon shares our vision for Cal football and is an ideal fit for our coaching staff,” Wilcox said in a press release. “I have had the pleasure of working with Peter on previous staffs and understand the value he will bring. Peter is an excellent football coach, a top-notch recruiter and talented in the development of players both on and off the field. He will be an excellent teacher of the game as well as a tremendous mentor for our student-athletes in all aspect of their lives.”

Sirmon has been a coach since 2008 when he scored his first job at Central Washington as a linebackers coach at the Division II level.

The hiring of Sirmon completes Cal’s full-time coaching staff for the 2018 season. Sirmon will take over for previous inside linebacker coach Tim DeRuyter — DeRuyter is still on staff and will transition to coaching the outside linebackers. After making significant defensive strides this past season with the Bears, DeRuyter will return for his second year as the team’s defensive coordinator.

Both Louisville and Cal run 3-4 defenses; this fact, paired with Sirmon’s already established relationship with Wilcox, is an indicator that he should have a relatively smooth transition as he joins the Berkeley-based coaching staff.

Christie Aguilar is an assistant sports editor. Contact her at [email protected].