Head coach Justin Wilcox wasted no time in naming a replacement after Gerald Alexander departed to Miami, as he hired Marcel Yates to be Cal football’s new defensive backs coach.
Wilcox brings in yet another former Boise State coach in Yates. The two worked together in Idaho during Wilcox’s tenure as defensive coordinator from 2006-2009 when Yates coached the secondary. Since then, Yates has spent time as a defensive coordinator with Texas A&M, before returning to Boise State in that role and finally taking the position at Arizona in 2016.
Of those spells, Yates found the most success with the Broncos from 2014-2015. While in Boise, his defenses produced consecutive seasons where they were ranked in the top-10 nationally in turnovers forced. Yates has coached various positions, but his secondaries have found success in creating interceptions, a skill that will likely be valued by a Cal secondary recently nicknamed the ‘Takers’.
Yates departed Arizona midway through his fourth season with the program. In each of his four campaigns, the Wildcats allowed more than 30 points, though with him at the helm Arizona managed to intercept 18 passes in 2017.
Jasper Kenzo Sundeen is the sports editor. Contact him at