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The Cal Men's Basketball Head Coaching Search

March 26, 2023
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When the past six years mark the absolute nadir for not only your basketball program but arguably any Power 5 basketball program in history, the search for new leadership takes on extra weight.

When Mark Fox was let go on March  9th, it wasn’t a surprise for anyone and Cal’s Athletic Department was prepared to kick off a very different search process than what brought Fox to Berkeley back in 2019.   That was a quick process, in which Athletic Director Jim Knowlton operated in an autonomous fashion, aided by Collegiate Sports Associates (CSA), an executive search firm that specializes in AD, Football, and Basketball head coaching searches.

While CSA is again involved in this search (and that is surprising given the last result with their involvement), Knowlton took a very different approach to replace Fox.  This time, he was prepared with a list of targets, a list that grew with input from CSA as well as from prominent basketball experts close to Cal.   He fielded calls and sat down with a large number of donors who were galvanized to put the program on a stronger footing both to help attract a top-tier coach as well as to support that individual once they were in place.   

Knowlton further reached out to former players to let them know that he wanted a more inclusive program going forward and that their involvement was critical to get the Bears back to the level of solid though not spectacular success they had enjoyed for over thirty years.  

Before kicking off the search, Knowlton wanted to make sure that he had both internal and external support for more funding and resources to support a program that had struggled in part due to below-market salaries for its coaches, recruiting, team travel to go along with a lack of a dedicated practice facility (all of which are table stakes in today's Power 5 basketball world).   Reports suggest that significant University support is now in place to go along with potential donor pledges for both NIL and a dedicated discretionary fund (the equivalent of Cal’s Caliber fund for Football).    Cal’s notorious challenging admissions were reminded of the academic success currently being enjoyed throughout the Athletic Department and especially in football and basketball with an eye towards creating more flexibility.  While the practice facility remains a question mark, the other necessary ingredients had been brought together in advance of the search for a new leader.  

Much of that support hinged on hiring a head coach that would be able to cement donor interest and rejuvenate fan support for a team that had seen attendance fall to the very bottom of Power 5 programs.

Cal is in desperate need of a hoops leader who can invigorate the key constituencies from NIL donors to traditional boosters to former players and the fan base.   This is a turnaround and will require boundless energy, resilience and an ability to marshall support from every corner of Cal’s basketball ecosystem.   Winning is generally the fastest way to make that happen and in college hoops, the fastest way to win is to find talent.   Beyond the innate desire and talent to recruit top-tier players, NIL donations are an absolute prerequisite to creating the type of talent infusion so desperately needed at Haas Pavilion.

The criteria for the new Head Coach became obvious and clear:

  • A top-flight recruiter who had done it successfully at the P5 level AND who both embraced and could navigate today's NIL world
  • A proven head coach who had won consistently, competing and winning for conference titles and earning bids to the NCAA tournament
  • Someone who had the personality and make-up to both energize the fanbase and overcome some of Cal’s inherent challenges (admissions, facilities, a notoriously recalcitrant bureaucracy)
  • Ideally, someone with West Coast ties and an understanding of both Cal’s potential and challenges 

Armed with the momentum around increased resources and improved circumstances, Cal wanted to reach for the stars.   While Dennis Gates’ recently signed extension with Missouri took him out of the running (An $11M+ buyout), that didn’t mean the Chris Beards, Jamie Dixons, Randy Bennetts couldn’t be considered.   There are rumors from multiple sources that a potential grand slam home run was briefly intrigued though apparently, that flirtation did not result in any material conversations.  

Randy Bennett did emerge as a possibility and became a favorite, perhaps the favorite.   The allure was understandable.  He had built a top 20 program from a tiny school only 25 minutes from Cal’s campus.   Bennett’s a future HOF coach whose resume as a winner is unimpeachable.   However, one can’t help but wonder at how well he lined up against the remainder of Cal’s criteria.   At 61, did he have the energy or appetite for a turnaround?   Could his style of recruiting and roster building translate to the Pac-12?   Would his laconic and reserved personality be able to successfully engage donors and fans?   Did he have any interest in delving into the world of raising money for NIL, much less navigating recruiting with this as the central theme?

Still, it appears he was the front-runner and likely received an offer last week.   An offer that he ostensibly turned down.   While Bennett represented the obvious, there was also the possibility Cal would look beyond the world of college basketball to find its new leader.  NBA assistants such as Damon Stoudamire and Jason Terry were rumored to have been involved.   Stoudamire had a history in college basketball, yet only four days after Mark Fox was terminated he decided to take the Georgia Tech head job.   Terry may have had some appeal as a former Pac-12 and NBA star though his college resume was empty.   And the track record of former NBA players and assistants in the NBA coming to college as a head coach is not confidence inspiring.  

That left a group of up-and-coming college coaches.  Younger, with the energy and ambition likely required to clean up the current mess at Cal.  These were led by UCSBs head man, Joe Pasternack, who had a proven ability to land top-tier Power 5 talent as an assistant coach at both Cal and Arizona.   Pasternack reportedly coveted the job and had the support of several large Cal donors, including a large pledge for NIL if he were to get the role.   Amir Abdur-Rahim, fresh off an NCAA berth at Kenesaw State and a former ace recruiter at Texas A&M and Georgia was available and his family ties to the Bears were clearly compelling to fans and potential donors.   Stan Johnson at LMU had found more success in Westchester than any coach since Paul Westhead left in 1990 including big wins this season over St. Mary’s and Gonzaga.  He has the youth and charisma that had to figure prominently in Knowlton’s mind.  However, neither Abdur-Rahim nor Johnson have much of a track record as head coaches and had not come close to proving they could be consistent winners as head coaches (an important element given the impact a single player can have on a program for a season).   Mark Madsen was another obvious candidate.   A former college and NBA star that had sustained success (he inherited a strong program) at Utah Valley including two conference championships in the past three years.   He was unable to bring them to the NCAA tournament but is currently competing for an NIT title.   Madsen’s young, high energy, and charismatic.   Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much of a track record as a Power 5 recruiter with only one year at Stanford (a school that has historically recruited well without much impact from their coaching staff).   NIT experience?   

All four appeared to be finalists, given at least one and likely two interviews.   The interview process this time around was essential.   Without it, it’s very difficult to assess the candidate's ability to galvanize donors, navigate NIL, and what their approach would be to staff building, recruiting, and the overall turnaround process.   

According to our sources, in the end, Pasternack pulled out, and Abdur-Rahim and Johnson were not offered the job.   While the exclusion of Abdur-Rahim and Johnson is not surprising given their limited HC resumes and lack of consistent winning success, what happened to Pasternack’s candidacy?   

Jim Knowlton, despite the outreach and gathering of input from experts and donors in the process, is almost certainly making this decision an internal one.   He and his team within the AD are the ones choosing Cal’s next head coach and to our knowledge did not reach out to any donors or external advisors before making their decision.  That said, one has to wonder how much influence former Cal head coach Mike Montgomery and current Cal Assoc AD Jay John had on the final choice.   John, because he’s the only true Basketball person residing within Cal’s Athletic Department and Montgomery because the thesis on finalists laid out above leads to the conclusion that Mark Madsen will be Cal’s next head coach.   What’s notable is neither has any experience with the transfer portal and recruiting in the NIL era.

Montgomery coached Mark Madsen and is undoubtedly close to his former star.   Further, it’s been suggested that both he and Jay John were not fans of Pasternack’s, having had to compete with him at both Cal and Arizona as recruiters and on the court.   Pasternack is known for his fiery intensity and passion and clearly has the ability to get under the skin of his competitors.   And his association with Sean Miller at Arizona may further have fueled the animosity of the former Cal head coach who was known to be outspoken about anyone operating in the gray areas of recruiting.   

Interestingly, in today's college basketball, what was once considered “shady” is now business as usual with NIL.   It’s also not clear that a turnaround of the proportions that currently exist at Cal doesn’t automatically require a coach with a certain extra edginess and competitive fire.   While the above is speculation, it’s hard to find another rationale for why Cal may have passed on Joe Pasternack.   His recruiting resume, his on-the-court success, his knowledge of Cal, and the support he had within the Cal donor base all made him objectively a stronger candidate than Madsen.

In the end, it’s important that we all support Cal’s new head coach and it’s essential to be reminded that Knowlton’s job isn’t to win the process or the press conference announcing the new head coach, it’s about what the new coach does after he arrives in Berkeley that matters.  Whether it’s Madsen or someone else, we will have early feedback on donor (particularly NIL) support and recruiting.   That will be a non-trivial task as Madsen will not arrive with built-in support and the juxtaposition of his qualifications relative to Pasternack is almost certain to create disquiet and unhappiness among the donor base.  One of the further challenges in the desire to have a more considered and thoughtful search process is that the transfer portal is already open and Cal is not able to capitalize.   If the choice is Madsen and he cannot start until after the NIT, the Bears are further penalized.  

One thing to watch is if, in fact, the hire is Madsen is who he adds to his staff.  Will it include former Cal assistant John Montgomery?   Former coaches who advise on coaching searches are notoriously loyal to their former players and assistants.  Could Cal’s process have been derailed by a former great having his views pervade to the benefit of those he knows and loves best?   What’s painful here is of all the folks providing input to Knowlton on this process, the one whose least likely to write a donation or NIL check is in fact, Mike Montgomery.   Time will tell.   

Discussion from...

The Cal Men's Basketball Head Coaching Search

22,446 Views | 110 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by calumnus
dimitrig
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HoopDreams said:

calfanz said:

Vandalus said:

"There are rumors from multiple sources that a potential grand slam home run was briefly intrigued though apparently, that flirtation did not result in any material conversations."

Don't tease me like that BI. I am dying to know who the rumored intrigued grand slam hire was. You can't drop a nugget like that and leave it there for me to ponder.

Also, since it seems like MM is the guy; who knows anything about what kind of coach he is? Besides being the bad dancing kind. XO's / Philosophy??

watched the game. several things to like. they played relatively fast, but the two players who impressed was their PG and Center. They also used a lot of ally oop passes, which was something I've not seen much of from Cal in 8-9 years, including when we had Rabb and Jaylen. Watch at 12:20 mark for the best alley oop I've seen in college.

Their soph C is 7 foot, and although he's a little raw and needs to gain some strength, he's a bouncy shot blocker with some scoring ability (mostly dunks). This is something we've needed for a while, and will instantly make our defense look better (see the impact of UW's 7 foot shot blocker who has less scoring ability) and their 6-3 senior PG who is a savvy passer and shooter/scorer (hopefully he has a 5th covid year). He played 5 years, but only 2 games last season (due to injury? possible medical waiver?)

If both of them transfer to Cal, I'd feel a lot better we can get off to a good start


I wouldn't necessarily want to be saddled with players from UVU. That shouldn't be part of the equation unless they are exceptional players who are able to qualify to get into Cal.



bearsandgiants
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" That left a group of up-and-coming college coaches. Younger, with the energy and ambition likely required to clean up the current mess at Cal. "

This was the FIRST place we should have targeted, so of course it was the last. Randy Bennett was #1?

The "grand slam" must have been Kidd, but with these clowns involved, no wonder if never went anywhere.
Arcadiabear
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bearsandgiants said:

" That left a group of up-and-coming college coaches. Younger, with the energy and ambition likely required to clean up the current mess at Cal. "

This was the FIRST place we should have targeted, so of course it was the last. Randy Bennett was #1?

The "grand slam" must have been Kidd, but with these clowns involved, no wonder if never went anywhere.
if it is indeed Kidd then the timing is not right. He can't walk away from Dallas at this moment, that will ruin all of his future job prospects in the NBA if he just quit on his team while they are struggling.
Big C
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Arcadiabear said:

bearsandgiants said:

" That left a group of up-and-coming college coaches. Younger, with the energy and ambition likely required to clean up the current mess at Cal. "

This was the FIRST place we should have targeted, so of course it was the last. Randy Bennett was #1?

The "grand slam" must have been Kidd, but with these clowns involved, no wonder if never went anywhere.
if it is indeed Kidd then the timing is not right. He can't walk away from Dallas at this moment, that will ruin all of his future job prospects in the NBA if he just quit on his team while they are struggling.

Steve Nash?
Grrrrah76
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Sounds like our new Coach is Mad Dog, as he has been offered. Guess we couldn't attract a game changer.
Cal_79
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Grrrrah76 said:

Sounds like our new Coach is Mad Dog, as he has been offered. Guess we couldn't attract a game changer.

Cal basketball is currently at the bottom of the toilet bowl, what game changer would you expect to attract?
dan1997
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CaliforniaEternal said:

Madsen has a much more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack. That's not to say a non-player can't be a good coach, but I can see why a background as a player is a big plus in recruiting and coaching.
Incorrect...

Madsen .583 win % at Utah Valley with 0 NCAA Tournaments. 2 20+ win seasons. Has never recruited 4 or 5 star players. Inherited a good situation from Mark Pope. Team won 20+ games and into post-season each of his last 2 years before leaving for BYU and Madsen taking over. Madsen won 11 games his first year. Commuter school that he can get anyone into school.

Pasternack .714 win % at UCSB with 2 NCAA Tournaments. 5 20+ win seasons. Recruited numerous 4 and 5 star players. Gauchos won 6 games year before Pasternack took over. He led them to greatest turnaround in NCAA history, 17-wn improvement from season before with 23 wins in first season. One of top universities academically in the country that Joe figured out how to navigate through and is same system as Cal.

This one really isn't hard to connect the dots.

Gkhoury2325
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Thank you dan1997 making sense of all of this. Madsen's resume is nowhere near the resume of Pasternak. Madsen may turn out to be a solid hire, but it's not today.
mbBear
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Gkhoury2325 said:

Thank you dan1997 making sense of all of this. Madsen's resume is nowhere near the resume of Pasternak. Madsen may turn out to be a solid hire, but it's not today.
For sure. The only "glass half full" thing to hang on to is that the NBA experience does translate into a recruiting sales tool, and maybe his staff also has a former NBA player....
I'm willing to say, for the sake of argument, that he is an up and comer and going to be just as good as an X and O guy as Paternack. Okay, fine...now explain to me how Cal doesn't hire the guy who is, from day 1, going to reignite Alum and donors....
ncbears
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Terry (Texas) is done - so, perhaps, there could be a last second shuffle? (I'm not advocating for it - but, almost nothing would surprise me) - unless Terry was already contacted and he said "hell no"
BearSD
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ncbears said:

Terry (Texas) is done - so, perhaps, there could be a last second shuffle? (I'm not advocating for it - but, almost nothing would surprise me) - unless Terry was already contacted and he said "hell no"
He's staying in Austin.
BearSD
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calumnus said:

bluesaxe said:

ncbears said:

Issue is does Madsen get a "not fox" honeymoon period? Regardless, he will need to go on a major charm tour. The video of Fox first meeting with players soured some immediately. Madsen (or whomever) cant make that same poor and put-offish first impression.
I don't like what this article suggests about the process at all, but Madsen has ten times the personality of Fox and better cred in some ways as a former player who played in a Final Four and in the NBA. I can't imagine him screwing up a meeting like Fox did, or in general being a sour, disinterested, thin-skinned waste of time like Fox was.

We need to stop using Mark Fox as a comparison. He was just a horrible hire.

Madsen is a good coach and good person. I just don't think he is the best fit for Cal. Starting with being a Furd (at least we are not looking at Casey Jacobsen). I don't like that Monty is driving this and pushing his guys instead of Cal basketball alums with broader networks. Or even Ben Braun who loves and sold Berkeley well.
Madsen is a solid choice, not "home run", but solid. IMO, pretty much everyone here would agree with that if he had played college basketball anywhere other than Stanford.
mdbear
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dan1997 said:

CaliforniaEternal said:

Madsen has a much more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack. That's not to say a non-player can't be a good coach, but I can see why a background as a player is a big plus in recruiting and coaching.
Incorrect...

Madsen .583 win % at Utah Valley with 0 NCAA Tournaments. 2 20+ win seasons. Has never recruited 4 or 5 star players. Inherited a good situation from Mark Pope. Team won 20+ games and into post-season each of his last 2 years before leaving for BYU and Madsen taking over. Madsen won 11 games his first year. Commuter school that he can get anyone into school.

Pasternack .714 win % at UCSB with 2 NCAA Tournaments. 5 20+ win seasons. Recruited numerous 4 and 5 star players. Gauchos won 6 games year before Pasternack took over. He led them to greatest turnaround in NCAA history, 17-wn improvement from season before with 23 wins in first season. One of top universities academically in the country that Joe figured out how to navigate through and is same system as Cal.

This one really isn't hard to connect the dots.


Completely agree with Dan 1997. Pasternack has an objectively far superior record as a head coach than Madsen, who inherited a team that went 25-10 the previous year. Pasternack turned around a terrible team and made it a consistent winner. Madsen has not done as well as his predecessor and has never been to the tournament as a head coach. As much as I respected Monty when he was our head coach, I fear he may have been allowed too much influence in this search. Let's not forget that he strongly pushed Travis DeCuire to replace him. DeCuire inherited an excellent program at Montana that went to the tournament in 3 of the previous 5 years. DeCuire has now gone 4 straight seasons without winning 20 games. We need someone with a track record of improving a program in desperate shape, and Madsen simply does not have that track record.
sosheezy
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If Montgomery's son comes on as an Assistant under Madsen, his role in this search goes from potentially out of touch and unfortunately holding too much sway to extremely problematic.
Deutsch
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SP's tournament loss was mystifying to one not familiar with their play. The apparent attempt to run a slow down game came off as uncertain timidity…and was pretty ugly to watch. Anyone have better insight into that pratfall?
Madsen was well liked by Magic and other teammates and might benefit from any continuing contacts with those great players of the past.
bluesaxe
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mdbear said:

dan1997 said:

CaliforniaEternal said:

Madsen has a much more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack. That's not to say a non-player can't be a good coach, but I can see why a background as a player is a big plus in recruiting and coaching.
Incorrect...

Madsen .583 win % at Utah Valley with 0 NCAA Tournaments. 2 20+ win seasons. Has never recruited 4 or 5 star players. Inherited a good situation from Mark Pope. Team won 20+ games and into post-season each of his last 2 years before leaving for BYU and Madsen taking over. Madsen won 11 games his first year. Commuter school that he can get anyone into school.

Pasternack .714 win % at UCSB with 2 NCAA Tournaments. 5 20+ win seasons. Recruited numerous 4 and 5 star players. Gauchos won 6 games year before Pasternack took over. He led them to greatest turnaround in NCAA history, 17-wn improvement from season before with 23 wins in first season. One of top universities academically in the country that Joe figured out how to navigate through and is same system as Cal.

This one really isn't hard to connect the dots.


Completely agree with Dan 1997. Pasternack has an objectively far superior record as a head coach than Madsen, who inherited a team that went 25-10 the previous year. Pasternack turned around a terrible team and made it a consistent winner. Madsen has not done as well as his predecessor and has never been to the tournament as a head coach. As much as I respected Monty when he was our head coach, I fear he may have been allowed too much influence in this search. Let's not forget that he strongly pushed Travis DeCuire to replace him. DeCuire inherited an excellent program at Montana that went to the tournament in 3 of the previous 5 years. DeCuire has now gone 4 straight seasons without winning 20 games. We need someone with a track record of improving a program in desperate shape, and Madsen simply does not have that track record.
There are plenty of reasons to be disappointed in the process, and lots of arguments re the merits of the choice, but he didn't inherit much of anything and had to build up to where they were this year. Although UV went 23-11 and was overall 92 ranked in KenPom in 2018 under Pope, Madson definitely did NOT inherit that team His first team only returned one starter and one bench player who played significant minutes from 2018 and from what I can tell no one else. Their best players transferred to BYU with Pope. That's a full rebuild. Not surprisingly they lost more than they won in 2019. In 2020-21 he was at .500 with his own frosh and sophs but 9-4 in conference and in second place. Last year they were 20-12 overall but with a worse conference record. This year 28-8 and 1st in the WAC, with a KenPom rating (64) that was better than all but five teams in the Pac-12. They lost their conference final by a point but since then have beaten New Mexico, Cincinnati and Colorado in the NIT.

I also don't find the absence of four or five star recruits all that surprising at a school that has never made the NCAA tourney. How many four and five-stars play in the WAC do you think? Here there's a different product to sell. Will he be a good recruiter? Who knows but then we also don't know what kind of staff he'll put together.

He also has more than just Utah Valley on his coaching resume. He was an assistant at Stanford, a G-League head coach, and an NBA player development coach and assistant coach before getting to UV. He was a two-time All-American and a 9-year NBA player. That basketball background isn't bad at all.

He wasn't my first choice or my second choice, but if it's him I can see some positives for sure and no need to denigrate what he did at UV. Seems like a pretty solid job to me.
stu
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Deutsch said:

SP's tournament loss was mystifying to one not familiar with their play. The apparent attempt to run a slow down game came off as uncertain timidity…and was pretty ugly to watch. Anyone have better insight into that pratfall?
Madsen was well liked by Magic and other teammates and might benefit from any continuing contacts with those great players of the past.
Sorry, who or what is SP?
concernedparent
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Quote:

According to our sources, in the end, Pasternack pulled out, and Abdur-Rahim and Johnson were not offered the job. While the exclusion of Abdur-Rahim and Johnson is not surprising given their limited HC resumes and lack of consistent winning success


So you offer Madsen? This doesn't make sense.
BearGoggles
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mdbear said:

dan1997 said:

CaliforniaEternal said:

Madsen has a much more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack. That's not to say a non-player can't be a good coach, but I can see why a background as a player is a big plus in recruiting and coaching.
Incorrect...

Madsen .583 win % at Utah Valley with 0 NCAA Tournaments. 2 20+ win seasons. Has never recruited 4 or 5 star players. Inherited a good situation from Mark Pope. Team won 20+ games and into post-season each of his last 2 years before leaving for BYU and Madsen taking over. Madsen won 11 games his first year. Commuter school that he can get anyone into school.

Pasternack .714 win % at UCSB with 2 NCAA Tournaments. 5 20+ win seasons. Recruited numerous 4 and 5 star players. Gauchos won 6 games year before Pasternack took over. He led them to greatest turnaround in NCAA history, 17-wn improvement from season before with 23 wins in first season. One of top universities academically in the country that Joe figured out how to navigate through and is same system as Cal.

This one really isn't hard to connect the dots.


Completely agree with Dan 1997. Pasternack has an objectively far superior record as a head coach than Madsen, who inherited a team that went 25-10 the previous year. Pasternack turned around a terrible team and made it a consistent winner. Madsen has not done as well as his predecessor and has never been to the tournament as a head coach. As much as I respected Monty when he was our head coach, I fear he may have been allowed too much influence in this search. Let's not forget that he strongly pushed Travis DeCuire to replace him. DeCuire inherited an excellent program at Montana that went to the tournament in 3 of the previous 5 years. DeCuire has now gone 4 straight seasons without winning 20 games. We need someone with a track record of improving a program in desperate shape, and Madsen simply does not have that track record.
You and Dan both moved the goal posts. The original post said "more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack". That includes more than just coaching. Pasternack didn't play in college, much less then NBA. That counts for something.

I agree at this point JP has the stronger coaching resume. But that is not the end of the discussion. And I'm not bashing JP or even suggesting MM should have been the choice. But looking solely at coaching record is not a very good metric or predictor of future success.



BearGoggles
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dan1997 said:

CaliforniaEternal said:

Madsen has a much more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack. That's not to say a non-player can't be a good coach, but I can see why a background as a player is a big plus in recruiting and coaching.
Incorrect...

Madsen .583 win % at Utah Valley with 0 NCAA Tournaments. 2 20+ win seasons. Has never recruited 4 or 5 star players. Inherited a good situation from Mark Pope. Team won 20+ games and into post-season each of his last 2 years before leaving for BYU and Madsen taking over. Madsen won 11 games his first year. Commuter school that he can get anyone into school.

Pasternack .714 win % at UCSB with 2 NCAA Tournaments. 5 20+ win seasons. Recruited numerous 4 and 5 star players. Gauchos won 6 games year before Pasternack took over. He led them to greatest turnaround in NCAA history, 17-wn improvement from season before with 23 wins in first season. One of top universities academically in the country that Joe figured out how to navigate through and is same system as Cal.

This one really isn't hard to connect the dots.


Dan - as a JP supporter, I do have a question for you. How do you feel now that is has been essentially confirmed that JP was cheating all of the years at AZ when he was (apparently) fully aware of payments to players?

It seems like that is what doomed him with Monty and Jay. In your opinion, should that have been a consideration, or were Monty and Jay just being petty? Should Cal overlook that and assume JP is a reformed cheater?
dan1997
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BearGoggles said:

dan1997 said:

CaliforniaEternal said:

Madsen has a much more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack. That's not to say a non-player can't be a good coach, but I can see why a background as a player is a big plus in recruiting and coaching.
Incorrect...

Madsen .583 win % at Utah Valley with 0 NCAA Tournaments. 2 20+ win seasons. Has never recruited 4 or 5 star players. Inherited a good situation from Mark Pope. Team won 20+ games and into post-season each of his last 2 years before leaving for BYU and Madsen taking over. Madsen won 11 games his first year. Commuter school that he can get anyone into school.

Pasternack .714 win % at UCSB with 2 NCAA Tournaments. 5 20+ win seasons. Recruited numerous 4 and 5 star players. Gauchos won 6 games year before Pasternack took over. He led them to greatest turnaround in NCAA history, 17-wn improvement from season before with 23 wins in first season. One of top universities academically in the country that Joe figured out how to navigate through and is same system as Cal.

This one really isn't hard to connect the dots.


Dan - as a JP supporter, I do have a question for you. How do you feel now that is has been essentially confirmed that JP was cheating all of the years at AZ when he was (apparently) fully aware of payments to players?

It seems like that is what doomed him with Monty and Jay. In your opinion, should that have been a consideration, or were Monty and Jay just being petty? Should Cal overlook that and assume JP is a reformed cheater?

There is zero evidence Pasternack was involved in the "cheating" at Arizona. He was never under investigation nor was he named in the reports conducted by NCAA and Arizona.
BeachedBear
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dan1997 said:

BearGoggles said:

dan1997 said:

CaliforniaEternal said:

Madsen has a much more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack. That's not to say a non-player can't be a good coach, but I can see why a background as a player is a big plus in recruiting and coaching.
Incorrect...

Madsen .583 win % at Utah Valley with 0 NCAA Tournaments. 2 20+ win seasons. Has never recruited 4 or 5 star players. Inherited a good situation from Mark Pope. Team won 20+ games and into post-season each of his last 2 years before leaving for BYU and Madsen taking over. Madsen won 11 games his first year. Commuter school that he can get anyone into school.

Pasternack .714 win % at UCSB with 2 NCAA Tournaments. 5 20+ win seasons. Recruited numerous 4 and 5 star players. Gauchos won 6 games year before Pasternack took over. He led them to greatest turnaround in NCAA history, 17-wn improvement from season before with 23 wins in first season. One of top universities academically in the country that Joe figured out how to navigate through and is same system as Cal.

This one really isn't hard to connect the dots.


Dan - as a JP supporter, I do have a question for you. How do you feel now that is has been essentially confirmed that JP was cheating all of the years at AZ when he was (apparently) fully aware of payments to players?

It seems like that is what doomed him with Monty and Jay. In your opinion, should that have been a consideration, or were Monty and Jay just being petty? Should Cal overlook that and assume JP is a reformed cheater?

There is zero evidence Pasternack was involved in the "cheating" at Arizona. He was never under investigation nor was he named in the reports conducted by NCAA and Arizona.
Wasn't there a recording of him discussing the payment schedule of Deandre Ayton - I think that was the issue. Not that he set those up, but he was aware of what was going on. But I could be remembering wrong.

More importantly - does anyone know what JPs extension numbers look like? I'd like to know how much it cost UCSB for him to walk away from his dream job.


Edit: I'm seriously asking questions, not countering Dan's point or trying to besmirch Joe P. I just realized my post may have come across that way.
dan1997
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BearGoggles said:

mdbear said:

dan1997 said:

CaliforniaEternal said:

Madsen has a much more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack. That's not to say a non-player can't be a good coach, but I can see why a background as a player is a big plus in recruiting and coaching.
Incorrect...

Madsen .583 win % at Utah Valley with 0 NCAA Tournaments. 2 20+ win seasons. Has never recruited 4 or 5 star players. Inherited a good situation from Mark Pope. Team won 20+ games and into post-season each of his last 2 years before leaving for BYU and Madsen taking over. Madsen won 11 games his first year. Commuter school that he can get anyone into school.

Pasternack .714 win % at UCSB with 2 NCAA Tournaments. 5 20+ win seasons. Recruited numerous 4 and 5 star players. Gauchos won 6 games year before Pasternack took over. He led them to greatest turnaround in NCAA history, 17-wn improvement from season before with 23 wins in first season. One of top universities academically in the country that Joe figured out how to navigate through and is same system as Cal.

This one really isn't hard to connect the dots.


Completely agree with Dan 1997. Pasternack has an objectively far superior record as a head coach than Madsen, who inherited a team that went 25-10 the previous year. Pasternack turned around a terrible team and made it a consistent winner. Madsen has not done as well as his predecessor and has never been to the tournament as a head coach. As much as I respected Monty when he was our head coach, I fear he may have been allowed too much influence in this search. Let's not forget that he strongly pushed Travis DeCuire to replace him. DeCuire inherited an excellent program at Montana that went to the tournament in 3 of the previous 5 years. DeCuire has now gone 4 straight seasons without winning 20 games. We need someone with a track record of improving a program in desperate shape, and Madsen simply does not have that track record.
You and Dan both moved the goal posts. The original post said "more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack". That includes more than just coaching. Pasternack didn't play in college, much less then NBA. That counts for something.

I agree at this point JP has the stronger coaching resume. But that is not the end of the discussion. And I'm not bashing JP or even suggesting MM should have been the choice. But looking solely at coaching record is not a very good metric or predictor of future success.




Pasternack has a track record of recruiting and developing talent. Sending players to the NBA, even from UCSB like Gabe Vincent. Madsen doesn't. Pasternack has navigated the academics at a tough public school, Madsen hasn't.
dan1997
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BeachedBear said:

dan1997 said:

BearGoggles said:

dan1997 said:

CaliforniaEternal said:

Madsen has a much more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack. That's not to say a non-player can't be a good coach, but I can see why a background as a player is a big plus in recruiting and coaching.
Incorrect...

Madsen .583 win % at Utah Valley with 0 NCAA Tournaments. 2 20+ win seasons. Has never recruited 4 or 5 star players. Inherited a good situation from Mark Pope. Team won 20+ games and into post-season each of his last 2 years before leaving for BYU and Madsen taking over. Madsen won 11 games his first year. Commuter school that he can get anyone into school.

Pasternack .714 win % at UCSB with 2 NCAA Tournaments. 5 20+ win seasons. Recruited numerous 4 and 5 star players. Gauchos won 6 games year before Pasternack took over. He led them to greatest turnaround in NCAA history, 17-wn improvement from season before with 23 wins in first season. One of top universities academically in the country that Joe figured out how to navigate through and is same system as Cal.

This one really isn't hard to connect the dots.


Dan - as a JP supporter, I do have a question for you. How do you feel now that is has been essentially confirmed that JP was cheating all of the years at AZ when he was (apparently) fully aware of payments to players?

It seems like that is what doomed him with Monty and Jay. In your opinion, should that have been a consideration, or were Monty and Jay just being petty? Should Cal overlook that and assume JP is a reformed cheater?

There is zero evidence Pasternack was involved in the "cheating" at Arizona. He was never under investigation nor was he named in the reports conducted by NCAA and Arizona.
Wasn't there a recording of him discussing the payment schedule of Deandre Ayton - I think that was the issue. Not that he set those up, but he was aware of what was going on. But I could be remembering wrong.

More importantly - does anyone know what JPs extension numbers look like? I'd like to know how much it cost UCSB for him to walk away from his dream job.
There was never a recording of Pasternack, plus he never coached Ayton as he was already at UCSB.

Rumblings in college basketball world are UCSB basically doubled his salary, made him the highest paid coach in the Big West.
Civil Bear
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bluesaxe said:




There are plenty of reasons to be disappointed in the process, and lots of arguments re the merits of the choice, but he didn't inherit much of anything and had to build up to where they were this year. Although UV went 23-11 and was overall 92 ranked in KenPom in 2018 under Pope, Madson definitely did NOT inherit that team His first team only returned one starter and one bench player who played significant minutes from 2018 and from what I can tell no one else. Their best players transferred to BYU with Pope. That's a full rebuild. Not surprisingly they lost more than they won in 2019. In 2020-21 he was at .500 with his own frosh and sophs but 9-4 in conference and in second place. Last year they were 20-12 overall but with a worse conference record. This year 28-8 and 1st in the WAC, with a KenPom rating (64) that was better than all but five teams in the Pac-12. They lost their conference final by a point but since then have beaten New Mexico, Cincinnati and Colorado in the NIT.

I also don't find the absence of four or five star recruits all that surprising at a school that has never made the NCAA tourney. How many four and five-stars play in the WAC do you think? Here there's a different product to sell. Will he be a good recruiter? Who knows but then we also don't know what kind of staff he'll put together.

He also has more than just Utah Valley on his coaching resume. He was an assistant at Stanford, a G-League head coach, and an NBA player development coach and assistant coach before getting to UV. He was a two-time All-American and a 9-year NBA player. That basketball background isn't bad at all.

He wasn't my first choice or my second choice, but if it's him I can see some positives for sure and no need to denigrate what he did at UV. Seems like a pretty solid job to me.

Yeah, I'm guessing if he played for Cal instead of the dirty 'furds he would have been closer to the second choice. A pre-Missoury Gates level hire.
BearlyCareAnymore
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Civil Bear said:

bluesaxe said:




There are plenty of reasons to be disappointed in the process, and lots of arguments re the merits of the choice, but he didn't inherit much of anything and had to build up to where they were this year. Although UV went 23-11 and was overall 92 ranked in KenPom in 2018 under Pope, Madson definitely did NOT inherit that team His first team only returned one starter and one bench player who played significant minutes from 2018 and from what I can tell no one else. Their best players transferred to BYU with Pope. That's a full rebuild. Not surprisingly they lost more than they won in 2019. In 2020-21 he was at .500 with his own frosh and sophs but 9-4 in conference and in second place. Last year they were 20-12 overall but with a worse conference record. This year 28-8 and 1st in the WAC, with a KenPom rating (64) that was better than all but five teams in the Pac-12. They lost their conference final by a point but since then have beaten New Mexico, Cincinnati and Colorado in the NIT.

I also don't find the absence of four or five star recruits all that surprising at a school that has never made the NCAA tourney. How many four and five-stars play in the WAC do you think? Here there's a different product to sell. Will he be a good recruiter? Who knows but then we also don't know what kind of staff he'll put together.

He also has more than just Utah Valley on his coaching resume. He was an assistant at Stanford, a G-League head coach, and an NBA player development coach and assistant coach before getting to UV. He was a two-time All-American and a 9-year NBA player. That basketball background isn't bad at all.

He wasn't my first choice or my second choice, but if it's him I can see some positives for sure and no need to denigrate what he did at UV. Seems like a pretty solid job to me.

Yeah, I'm guessing if he played for Cal instead of the dirty 'furds he would have been closer to the second choice. A pre-Missoury Gates level hire.
Gates - His team improved from 9th to 7th his first year, then finished 1st twice.

Madsen - His team dropped six places in the standings his first year from 2nd to 8th, finished first, then dropped to seventh, then finished first.

Plot those on a graph and see how the lines compare.

And Missouri didn't bring Ben Braun in to offer him over more qualified candidates.

I'm guessing if he was hired to coach for the dirty 'furds instead of Cal, no one here would be comparing him to Dennis Gates. I don't care that he played for furd. I care that he played for the guy who had so much influence on the decision.
bluesaxe
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BearlyCareAnymore said:

Civil Bear said:

bluesaxe said:




There are plenty of reasons to be disappointed in the process, and lots of arguments re the merits of the choice, but he didn't inherit much of anything and had to build up to where they were this year. Although UV went 23-11 and was overall 92 ranked in KenPom in 2018 under Pope, Madson definitely did NOT inherit that team His first team only returned one starter and one bench player who played significant minutes from 2018 and from what I can tell no one else. Their best players transferred to BYU with Pope. That's a full rebuild. Not surprisingly they lost more than they won in 2019. In 2020-21 he was at .500 with his own frosh and sophs but 9-4 in conference and in second place. Last year they were 20-12 overall but with a worse conference record. This year 28-8 and 1st in the WAC, with a KenPom rating (64) that was better than all but five teams in the Pac-12. They lost their conference final by a point but since then have beaten New Mexico, Cincinnati and Colorado in the NIT.

I also don't find the absence of four or five star recruits all that surprising at a school that has never made the NCAA tourney. How many four and five-stars play in the WAC do you think? Here there's a different product to sell. Will he be a good recruiter? Who knows but then we also don't know what kind of staff he'll put together.

He also has more than just Utah Valley on his coaching resume. He was an assistant at Stanford, a G-League head coach, and an NBA player development coach and assistant coach before getting to UV. He was a two-time All-American and a 9-year NBA player. That basketball background isn't bad at all.

He wasn't my first choice or my second choice, but if it's him I can see some positives for sure and no need to denigrate what he did at UV. Seems like a pretty solid job to me.

Yeah, I'm guessing if he played for Cal instead of the dirty 'furds he would have been closer to the second choice. A pre-Missoury Gates level hire.
Gates - His team improved from 9th to 7th his first year, then finished 1st twice.

Madsen - His team dropped six places in the standings his first year from 2nd to 8th, finished first, then dropped to seventh, then finished first.

Plot those on a graph and see how the lines compare.

And Missouri didn't bring Ben Braun in to offer him over more qualified candidates.

I'm guessing if he was hired to coach for the dirty 'furds instead of Cal, no one here would be comparing him to Dennis Gates. I don't care that he played for furd. I care that he played for the guy who had so much influence on the decision.
Put them on a graph and don't consider context at all? OK. He dropped six places in the standings with two players left over from Pope's team, none of whom were leading scorers and only one of whom started. And the progression was 8th, 2nd, 7th but with 12 more wins overall, then 1st. Criticizing his first year seems a bit like pointing out that Gates didn't improve Cleveland state more than one win his first year. Not really the right measure of whether he was doing anything right.

Gates has done a hell of a job but Gates wasn't available. Knowlton blew that the last time around like the idiot he is. And if the article is right, the process once again was a poor one.

This discussion, though, is basically everyone defending their own choices. For good reason in some cases, but I feel like Madsen is getting saddled with a lot of crap not of his own making in the discussion and that seems off to me. I don't know if Madsen can handle this job and like I said he wasn't my choice, or even second, but at least he isn't some old retread with no energy and no real interest in doing the job. And no, that isn't the hiring standard, but it's a step up anyway.

I do think I'll be attending games this year for the first time in a while.
calumnus
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Gkhoury2325 said:

Thank you dan1997 making sense of all of this. Madsen's resume is nowhere near the resume of Pasternak. Madsen may turn out to be a solid hire, but it's not today.


Yes, the argument for Pasternack made more sense.
calumnus
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bluesaxe said:

BearlyCareAnymore said:

Civil Bear said:

bluesaxe said:




There are plenty of reasons to be disappointed in the process, and lots of arguments re the merits of the choice, but he didn't inherit much of anything and had to build up to where they were this year. Although UV went 23-11 and was overall 92 ranked in KenPom in 2018 under Pope, Madson definitely did NOT inherit that team His first team only returned one starter and one bench player who played significant minutes from 2018 and from what I can tell no one else. Their best players transferred to BYU with Pope. That's a full rebuild. Not surprisingly they lost more than they won in 2019. In 2020-21 he was at .500 with his own frosh and sophs but 9-4 in conference and in second place. Last year they were 20-12 overall but with a worse conference record. This year 28-8 and 1st in the WAC, with a KenPom rating (64) that was better than all but five teams in the Pac-12. They lost their conference final by a point but since then have beaten New Mexico, Cincinnati and Colorado in the NIT.

I also don't find the absence of four or five star recruits all that surprising at a school that has never made the NCAA tourney. How many four and five-stars play in the WAC do you think? Here there's a different product to sell. Will he be a good recruiter? Who knows but then we also don't know what kind of staff he'll put together.

He also has more than just Utah Valley on his coaching resume. He was an assistant at Stanford, a G-League head coach, and an NBA player development coach and assistant coach before getting to UV. He was a two-time All-American and a 9-year NBA player. That basketball background isn't bad at all.

He wasn't my first choice or my second choice, but if it's him I can see some positives for sure and no need to denigrate what he did at UV. Seems like a pretty solid job to me.

Yeah, I'm guessing if he played for Cal instead of the dirty 'furds he would have been closer to the second choice. A pre-Missoury Gates level hire.
Gates - His team improved from 9th to 7th his first year, then finished 1st twice.

Madsen - His team dropped six places in the standings his first year from 2nd to 8th, finished first, then dropped to seventh, then finished first.

Plot those on a graph and see how the lines compare.

And Missouri didn't bring Ben Braun in to offer him over more qualified candidates.

I'm guessing if he was hired to coach for the dirty 'furds instead of Cal, no one here would be comparing him to Dennis Gates. I don't care that he played for furd. I care that he played for the guy who had so much influence on the decision.
Put them on a graph and don't consider context at all? OK. He dropped six places in the standings with two players left over from Pope's team, none of whom were leading scorers and only one of whom started. And the progression was 8th, 2nd, 7th but with 12 more wins overall, then 1st. Criticizing his first year seems a bit like pointing out that Gates didn't improve Cleveland state more than one win his first year. Not really the right measure of whether he was doing anything right.

Gates has done a hell of a job but Gates wasn't available. Knowlton blew that the last time around like the idiot he is. And if the article is right, the process once again was a poor one.

This discussion, though, is basically everyone defending their own choices. For good reason in some cases, but I feel like Madsen is getting saddled with a lot of crap not of his own making in the discussion and that seems off to me. I don't know if Madsen can handle this job and like I said he wasn't my choice, or even second, but at least he isn't some old retread with no energy and no real interest in doing the job. And no, that isn't the hiring standard, but it's a step up anyway.

I do think I'll be attending games this year for the first time in a while.


MUCH better than Fox. Acceptable. He is a good person and a decent coach. Not a great fit for Cal, not a home run. I'd grade the hire as a C. But we are dealing with Knowlton, at least it wasnt another F.
BeachedBear
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dan1997 said:

BeachedBear said:

dan1997 said:

BearGoggles said:

dan1997 said:

CaliforniaEternal said:

Madsen has a much more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack. That's not to say a non-player can't be a good coach, but I can see why a background as a player is a big plus in recruiting and coaching.
Incorrect...

Madsen .583 win % at Utah Valley with 0 NCAA Tournaments. 2 20+ win seasons. Has never recruited 4 or 5 star players. Inherited a good situation from Mark Pope. Team won 20+ games and into post-season each of his last 2 years before leaving for BYU and Madsen taking over. Madsen won 11 games his first year. Commuter school that he can get anyone into school.

Pasternack .714 win % at UCSB with 2 NCAA Tournaments. 5 20+ win seasons. Recruited numerous 4 and 5 star players. Gauchos won 6 games year before Pasternack took over. He led them to greatest turnaround in NCAA history, 17-wn improvement from season before with 23 wins in first season. One of top universities academically in the country that Joe figured out how to navigate through and is same system as Cal.

This one really isn't hard to connect the dots.


Dan - as a JP supporter, I do have a question for you. How do you feel now that is has been essentially confirmed that JP was cheating all of the years at AZ when he was (apparently) fully aware of payments to players?

It seems like that is what doomed him with Monty and Jay. In your opinion, should that have been a consideration, or were Monty and Jay just being petty? Should Cal overlook that and assume JP is a reformed cheater?

There is zero evidence Pasternack was involved in the "cheating" at Arizona. He was never under investigation nor was he named in the reports conducted by NCAA and Arizona.
Wasn't there a recording of him discussing the payment schedule of Deandre Ayton - I think that was the issue. Not that he set those up, but he was aware of what was going on. But I could be remembering wrong.

More importantly - does anyone know what JPs extension numbers look like? I'd like to know how much it cost UCSB for him to walk away from his dream job.
There was never a recording of Pasternack, plus he never coached Ayton as he was already at UCSB.

Rumblings in college basketball world are UCSB basically doubled his salary, made him the highest paid coach in the Big West.
Thanks. I think it was Bowen (not Ayton) and his name came up along with the entire UA staff - but was cleared.

Doubling his salary, Not having to deal with JK, wife can come 'home' to bay area anytime she wants, Santa Barbara is a nice place, saves face. I probably would have done the same.
CaliforniaEternal
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dan1997 said:

CaliforniaEternal said:

Madsen has a much more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack. That's not to say a non-player can't be a good coach, but I can see why a background as a player is a big plus in recruiting and coaching.
Incorrect...

Madsen .583 win % at Utah Valley with 0 NCAA Tournaments. 2 20+ win seasons. Has never recruited 4 or 5 star players. Inherited a good situation from Mark Pope. Team won 20+ games and into post-season each of his last 2 years before leaving for BYU and Madsen taking over. Madsen won 11 games his first year. Commuter school that he can get anyone into school.

Pasternack .714 win % at UCSB with 2 NCAA Tournaments. 5 20+ win seasons. Recruited numerous 4 and 5 star players. Gauchos won 6 games year before Pasternack took over. He led them to greatest turnaround in NCAA history, 17-wn improvement from season before with 23 wins in first season. One of top universities academically in the country that Joe figured out how to navigate through and is same system as Cal.

This one really isn't hard to connect the dots.


If Pasternack is such a turnaround artist why is he staying at UCSB instead of pursuing/being pursued by other higher profile jobs? Isn't this just a case of Cal being such a lowly program that the only coaches willing to throw their hat in the ring have some big question marks?

I'm not saying I think Madsen is a lock for success, but he may be a better personality for the Cal community and in terms of academics and walking into recruits living rooms, he will be every bit as good as Pasternack could be. If NIL is the separating factor, well, Cal isn't going to win many of those battles against bigger programs.
Pittstop
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Mark Fox had a stellar "coaching record" at Nevada. Much like JP at UCSB. Not a slam dunk predictor for P5 success - which Fox proved at GA.
Gkhoury2325
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I have to respectfully disagree. JP has established recruiting chops and Fox has almost none. JP has better upside and has donors ready to fork out millions according Sebastabear. Fox did not and was a lazy recruiter and never promoted the program.

FACTS.
calumnus
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CaliforniaEternal said:

dan1997 said:

CaliforniaEternal said:

Madsen has a much more impressive basketball background than someone like Pasternack. That's not to say a non-player can't be a good coach, but I can see why a background as a player is a big plus in recruiting and coaching.
Incorrect...

Madsen .583 win % at Utah Valley with 0 NCAA Tournaments. 2 20+ win seasons. Has never recruited 4 or 5 star players. Inherited a good situation from Mark Pope. Team won 20+ games and into post-season each of his last 2 years before leaving for BYU and Madsen taking over. Madsen won 11 games his first year. Commuter school that he can get anyone into school.

Pasternack .714 win % at UCSB with 2 NCAA Tournaments. 5 20+ win seasons. Recruited numerous 4 and 5 star players. Gauchos won 6 games year before Pasternack took over. He led them to greatest turnaround in NCAA history, 17-wn improvement from season before with 23 wins in first season. One of top universities academically in the country that Joe figured out how to navigate through and is same system as Cal.

This one really isn't hard to connect the dots.


If Pasternack is such a turnaround artist why is he staying at UCSB instead of pursuing/being pursued by other higher profile jobs? Isn't this just a case of Cal being such a lowly program that the only coaches willing to throw their hat in the ring have some big question marks?

I'm not saying I think Madsen is a lock for success, but he may be a better personality for the Cal community and in terms of academics and walking into recruits living rooms, he will be every bit as good as Pasternack could be. If NIL is the separating factor, well, Cal isn't going to win many of those battles against bigger programs.


There were credibly BIG donors that were going to back Pasternack with major NIL. There were credibly Cal NBA players and former NBA players that were going to back Amir. I know some big Stanford money that would back Madsen if he was at Stanford. It will remain to be seen who backs Madsen at Cal. My guess is his support at Cal will be tepid, at least unless he surprises with a dramatic turnaround, which is not what he did at UVU. He took a program that went 25-10 the year before he arrived and went 11-19 his first year, but got back to 20+ wins by year 4.
Pittstop
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Mostly agree. But we were referring to whether "coaching record" at a non-P5 program was an accurate predictor for P5 success, no presumed recruiting chops. And, hey, Fox did recruit KCP to GA, and put him in the NBA.
 
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