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Photo by D. Ross Cameron | 2018 Oct 11

Cal Fires Wyking Jones

March 24, 2019
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Two days after various outlets reported that Wyking Jones would be retained as Cal’s basketball coach, he was fired on Sunday after two dismal seasons.

The termination was initially reported by John Canzano of the Portland Oregonian.

Jones, who was 16-47 in his two years in Berkeley, will be bought out of the three years remaining on his contract.

In a conference call on Sunday afternoon, athletic director Jim Knowlton said he actually made the decision last week. He was asked about the confusion in the varying reports. “The confusion was that no one asked me,” he said bluntly.

“After the season ended I took some time and reviewed where we were and what we had accomplished and where we were as an organization,” Knowlton said. “Once I had done that I made the decision last week. Obviously, you have to get some things done here at Cal … I met with Wyking today and let him know I would be making a leadership change.

I made my decision and put everything in line and met with our head coach.”

Knowlton said he met with several players last week and what they said obviously figured into the decision

Assistant Marty Wilson will function as the interim head coach until a replacement for Jones is hired. The fate of the other assistants is unknown. “Once we hire the next head coach, that coach will evaluate the staff and he will make those decisions in consultation with me,” Knowlton said.

Knowlton said the search for said replacement has already begun. A “recruiting firm” has been hired and the AD said he already had a list of candidates he hoped to interview.

Speculation has focused on several candidates, including former Cal star Jason Kidd. Nevada coach Eric Musselman. and UC Irvine head coach Russell Turner.

A group of influential basketball donors has been openly campaigning for Kidd, who would come with some baggage. Having left Cal after two years and does not have a degree. At one point that having one was a requirement for head coach. Knowlton said he was unsure if that still held.

“I don't know the answer to that right now,” he said.

Also, there is the issue of Kidd’s domestic violence incident, and the fact the former Brooklyn and Milwaukee NBA head coach is rumored to be a candidate for the Lakers’ head coaching job. If as expected it opens up.

Knowlton hedged when asked if he wanted his new coach to have head coaching experience, the lack thereof was one of the criticisms leveled at Jones. “I think every single candidate we will evaluate on their merits,” he said. “What the experience level is everything to do with basketball. I don’t want to rule out any candidate. I think it’s important that I’m going to consider every single coach, their experience what they would bring to Cal.”

 

Jones buyout will cost the cash-strapped athletic department $3 million. Knowlton said indirectly he expects donor money to a part of that.

“I have donors that are helping all the time. I have been working with donors from the day that I got here they are the lifeblood,” he said. “I didn’t make any requests specifically for this. But we rely on donors to support all 30 programs.

Last week guard Darius McNeill announced his intention to transfer. Although no other players have said they are leaving, several are believed to thinking about it. Because of Spring Break Knowlton has not heard from any players since he made the decision. He said one of Wilson’s responsibilities will be to keep the roster intact and see that the recruiting class stays intact.

“Obviously, these are tough days,” said Knowlton. “As an athletic director when you have someone you admire who has given his heart and soul to our university, to our athletic department and to our basketball program and connecting with our student-athletes and helping them growing it’s hard.”





 

Discussion from...

Cal Fires Wyking Jones

15,173 Views | 14 Replies | Last: 5 yr ago by 82gradDLSdad
okaydo
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We had a basketball coach named Wyking Jones?!?!!?
grumpybear
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Not many surprised
Another Bear
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Does Cal require a bachelors to be a head coach? I thought that was the case but can't remember.
Peanut Gallery Consultant
Genocide Joe 58
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Another Bear said:

Does Cal require a bachelors to be a head coach? I thought that was the case but can't remember.
No
bear2034
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So I guess this is the final Fire Wyking Jones thread.
HungryCalBear
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I like that coach Turner from Irvine.

How was Jason Kidd doing as a coach? He was an amazing point guard & overall basketball player, just now sure if he's good at anything else.
Genocide Joe 58
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HungryCalBear said:

I like that coach Turner from Irvine.

How was Jason Kidd doing as a coach? He was an amazing point guard & overall basketball player, just now sure if he's good at anything else.
He's no Mike Budenholzer
goldenblue_Cal
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About time. And he has a bachelor's degree? Just sayin'..........
kad02002
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Musselman seems like such a clear choice. What am I missing? (Aside from the obvious Kidd appeal)
okaydo
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Big C
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kad02002 said:

Musselman seems like such a clear choice. What am I missing? (Aside from the obvious Kidd appeal)
Good with the Xs and Os. Recruits well.

Tends to not stay in any one place too long, because he wears on people. Uncertainty about ethics (perhaps unfounded) and how he'd support student-athletes.
Big C
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okaydo said:



Terrible career timing for Turner, to say stupid stuff. Maybe, subconsciously, he wants to stay at Irvine, with his wife.
Genocide Joe 58
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Big C said:

okaydo said:



Terrible career timing for Turner, to say stupid stuff. Maybe, subconsciously, he wants to stay at Irvine, with his wife.
Meh. Compared to Ben Chapman, this is much ado about nothing.
82gradDLSdad
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Oh brother...queen??? Slow news day.
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