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Cal Makes Change In Men's Basketball Leadership - Fox Gone

March 9, 2023
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BERKELEY - Mark Fox, who has served as California's men's basketball head coach for the past four seasons, will not return next year, Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton announced Thursday.

Fox compiled a record of 38-87 with the Golden Bears, including a pair of wins over rival Stanford in the Pac-12 Tournament and engineering a six-win improvement from the previous year in his first season as head coach.

Fox also guided the program through the COVID-19 pandemic, navigating some of the most disruptive restrictions in the country.

"I want to thank Mark for his unwavering commitment to our men's basketball program," Knowlton said. "He led the team through some challenging times, and always did so with the class and professionalism we have come to expect from him. Mark understood and embraced our University's mission and ideals, and was always an exemplary representative of our department. I wish him the best of luck in the future.

"This was a difficult decision and one that I do not take lightly. After deliberately and holistically evaluating all aspects of our program, I felt a change was needed at this time. We will always be guided by the best interests of our student-athletes, as well as the values of our University."

The Bears excelled academically during Fox's tenure, twice earning the National Association of Basketball Coaches Team Academic Excellence Award while also producing four NABC Honors Court selections.

Fox also helped fund an internship through the McLendon Minority Leadership initiative, which provides opportunities for approximately 30 young minorities per year within college athletic departments across the country.

The University will begin a national search immediately to find its new head coach.

 

Discussion from...

Cal Makes Change In Men's Basketball Leadership - Fox Gone

11,973 Views | 50 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by CaliforniaEternal
calumnus
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Cal8285 said:

59bear said:

parentswerebears said:

Wow. You can spin anything to sound positive. The WORST coach in Cal history and they still found a way to make his tenure a positive.
I'm not sure he was worse than Wyking. Two failures in succession certainly have put the program in dire straits.
The big reason Fox was worse than Jones is that Fox lasted 4 years vs 2 for Jones.

But the biggest disaster is those two failures in succession lasting a total of 6 years. The Bears can't afford another failure.


I felt like our roster improved from year 1 to year 2 under Wyking and the team was playing better at the end of the season than the beginning. The opposite was true under Fox, our roster got worse year to year and the team generally played worse at the end of the season. Fox should have also been fired after the record number of PAC-12 losses in year two and the conflict with and departure of Bradley. Instead he was extended.
stu
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My Fox timeline:
1) He never should have been hired.
2) He should have been retained after year one. Despite player losses the team looked significantly improved.
3) He should have been fired after year two. More player losses and terrible results.
4) He should have been fired after year three. More player losses and terrible results.
5) He was fired after year four. What took so long?




heartofthebear
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wraptor347 said:

"This was a difficult decision and one that I do not take lightly"

Was it really that difficult JK?
It was difficult because he's the one that gave that loser a huge contract extension and now he looks like the idiot he is.
Hey coaches, come to Cal, where you can lose big, get an extension and then get a buyout as well. How sweet it is.
KiteBear
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wraptor347 said:

"This was a difficult decision and one that I do not take lightly"

Was it really that difficult JK?
The "difficult part was having to eat the $2M in salary. Or was it $4M?
randythebear
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I want a new coach who brings the same level of excitement and credibility to Cal Basketball, for players, recruits and fans, as Coach Prime has brought to Colorado football.

And a new athletics director.
UrsineMaximus
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stu said:

My Fox timeline:
1) He never should have been hired.
2) He should have been retained after year one. Despite player losses the team looked significantly improved.
3) He should have been fired after year two. More player losses and terrible results.
4) He should have been fired after year three. More player losses and terrible results.
5) He was fired after year four. What took so long?





The answer to your #5 question is embedded in #1.
Why you went to #2 is beyond reason.
HoopDreams
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randythebear said:

I want a new coach who brings the same level of excitement and credibility to Cal Basketball, for players, recruits and fans, as Coach Prime has brought to Colorado football.

And a new athletics director.
not a big fan of Coach Prime

maybe he will be successful, but Gates to me is the role model I think would be a much better fit for Cal, and could achieve the same or better heights
BearlyCareAnymore
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Cal8285 said:

59bear said:

parentswerebears said:

Wow. You can spin anything to sound positive. The WORST coach in Cal history and they still found a way to make his tenure a positive.
I'm not sure he was worse than Wyking. Two failures in succession certainly have put the program in dire straits.
The big reason Fox was worse than Jones is that Fox lasted 4 years vs 2 for Jones.

But the biggest disaster is those two failures in succession lasting a total of 6 years. The Bears can't afford another failure.
Long since beyond that point. That is like saying the Washington Generals can't afford another failure. Except the General's organization is probably trying harder to win.
Big C
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HoopDreams said:

randythebear said:

I want a new coach who brings the same level of excitement and credibility to Cal Basketball, for players, recruits and fans, as Coach Prime has brought to Colorado football.

And a new athletics director.
not a big fan of Coach Prime

maybe he will be successful, but Gates to me is the role model I think would be a much better fit for Cal, and could achieve the same or better heights

I will say one thing about "Coach Prime": He has me intrigued to see how he will fare.
BearlyCareAnymore
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bearister said:

Cal fires men's basketball head coach Mark Fox after 3-29 season


https://www.sfchronicle.com/sports/college/article/cal-fires-men-s-basketball-head-coach-mark-fox-17828596.php


"After deliberately and holistically evaluating all aspects of our program…"

I'd fire JK for using the word "holistically" in that quote on general principle.


Okay, you want a laugh? Knowlton quote when he fired Wyking Jones:


Quote:

It was based on a holistic view of the program. Everyone wants to point to something, but it's really a whole year of evaluation. Could I have made the decision three weeks before the season ended? Yeah, but it wouldn't have been as informed a decision. So I just felt like, go through the season, end-of-season evaluation, spend some time with the coach and then make a decision.
Maybe Cal should take a holistic look at the functioning of the athletic department and make some deliberate decisions.
calumnus
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bearister said:

Big C said:


Let's move forward. Go Bears!


As a guy that loves stats, a burning question for me is, how long will the 16 consecutive losses school record last?

I figured Wyking's record would last at least as long as Bob Beamon's long jump record (23 years), and maybe go unbroken, but the Foxorama tied it after just 4 years.



*You really do have to respect the -16 in a row. Not everyone can do that. I'm thinking if they let me coach a season, I might not even be able to attain it.



Fox was fired when he was tied at 16 straight losses, robbing him of the chance to continue that streak. He did break his own record losses to PAC-12 teams that he set two years ago, his Cal record for home losses lead the entire country and his 29 total losses will be very difficult to break, especially if we keep playing all these patsies at home.
tequila4kapp
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I disagreed with the decision to hire him and said so to JK. I disagreed with it but I could see some rationale for doing so. After that it was just unconscionable to me that he wasn't removed. Every single game, every single season were proof that he was the wrong guy for the job. Anyone can make a bad hire, that's excusable. Keeping him way past his shelf life was inexcusable.
calumnus
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tequila4kapp said:

I disagreed with the decision to hire him and said so to JK. I disagreed with it but I could see some rationale for doing so. After that it was just unconscionable to me that he wasn't removed. Every single game, every single season were proof that he was the wrong guy for the job. Anyone can make a bad hire, that's excusable. Keeping him way past his shelf life was inexcusable.


Not just keeping him. Extending his contract "for COVID" wasted $1.9 million of Cal's money.
polarbear
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Bearly said:

Maybe Cal should take a holistic look at the functioning of the athletic department and make some deliberate decisions.
Yes but I think this is beyond what they are able or willing to fix. Cal FB+MBB+WBB finishes with a combined conference record of 8-41 and with this MBB program one of the worst ever in major conference history. Add to that the WVB record of 0-20 and the swimming coach scandal and it is clear that this athletic department is in complete disarray! Just rotating our MBB coaching carousel one revolution is not going to help much. I think at this time the UC Board of Regents should initiate an intervention of some kind and make some tough long term decisions on our behalf. The big unknown on the horizon here is the possibility of players unionizing and getting salaries. Would that then be end of intercollegiate athletics in America, with Cal being the first domino to fall?


CaliforniaEternal
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Wow, I had no idea Cal had a 0-20 conference record in volleyball. That is so stunning it's hard to even comprehend. For a non-revenue sport at a top academic institution you have to try really hard to be that bad. The dept. is in absolute shambles. This makes me really long for the Sandy Barbour days.
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