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Cal Basketball

Mark Madsen Named Cal Men's Basketball Head Coach

March 29, 2023
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BERKELEY – Mark Madsen, a two-time NBA champion with East Bay roots and a proven track record as both a college and professional coach, has been named the 19th head coach in California men’s basketball history, Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton announced Wednesday.

Madsen will be formally introduced at a press conference at 1 p.m. PT on Monday, April 3 in Haas Pavilion.

After a decorated playing career which included a trip to the NCAA Final Four at Stanford and two NBA titles while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, Madsen is considered a rising star in the coaching ranks, having most recently led Utah Valley to the semifinals of the 2023 NIT. Madsen was named the 2023 Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and led the Wolverines to a pair of conference titles during his four seasons at the helm. Madsen has been well-recognized for his efforts during the 2022-23 campaign as he was named District Coach of the Year by both the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and a finalist for the Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year award, which is presented annually to the top Division I mid-major coach in college basketball.

“I could not be more excited to welcome Mark, his wife Hannah, and their children to the Cal Family,” Knowlton said. “We conducted an exhaustive search, and one name kept rising to the top – and that’s Mark Madsen. Mark is a person of high character, high energy, high intensity, and he’s done it the right way. He’s intense. He’s passionate. He loves his student-athletes, and he loves competing. We want an ambassador for this program who is going to make us proud and develop our young men – both on and off the court. I am absolutely thrilled that Mark will lead our program into the future.”

Madsen spent six seasons as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers (2013-19) prior to leading Utah Valley. During his time on the Los Angeles bench, he coached NBA superstars LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, among others. He also played alongside some of the NBA’s greatest players, including Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Kevin Garnett. Following three seasons played with the Lakers (2000-03), Madsen played six further seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“I am extremely grateful to Chancellor Christ and Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton for their belief in me, and for the tremendous opportunity to lead Cal’s men’s basketball team back to its winning tradition,” Madsen said. “Having grown up in the area, I have always admired Cal as an institution and as an athletic program, with so many of my teachers, coaches and friends impressive Cal graduates. We will win with young men who have elite academic and athletic talent and who will represent Cal with pride. Hannah and I and our children are excited to return to the Bay Area and join the Cal community and I cannot wait to get started. Go Bears!”

Madsen’s first coaching position came as an assistant coach for the Utah Flash of the NBA Development League during the 2009-10 season. He later returned to his alma mater to earn an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2012 and spent the 2012-13 season as an assistant coach for the Cardinal, working in recruiting, opponent game planning and player development.

A 2019 Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Madsen earned All-America honors twice while helping lead the Cardinal to four NCAA Tournament appearances – including the 1998 Final Four – in as many seasons played from 1996-2000. He averaged 10.9 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in his Stanford career and ranks fourth in field goal percentage (.587) and sixth in rebounds (857) in program history. Madsen earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Stanford in 2000.

Madsen earned the nickname “Mad Dog” for his aggressive style of play during his early playing days at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville and at Stanford. He served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Spain. Madsen and his wife, Hannah, have two sons, William and Leroy, one daughter, Alexandria and a child who is due any day.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT MARK MADSEN

“Mark Madsen is an incredible human being. He has a tremendous amount of passion for the game and his players along with remarkable character. I’d be ecstatic to have a son play for him and work with him daily.” – Steve Nash, 2018 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player

"Mark is one of the brightest coaches in college basketball today. Besides his basketball knowledge, the thing that sets Mark apart is his high moral character. He will be a fantastic representative of the Cal family." – Mark D’Antoni, Two-time NBA Coach of the Year

"Mark is one of the hardest working, most knowledgeable coaches I have ever had the pleasure of working with. His attention to details, his passion for the game and his ability to teach have led him to have great success as a coach. On top of that he’s a great man, great friend, and parents will be lucky to have him help lead their kids.” – Luke Walton, Three-time NBA champion and former NBA head coach

“Mark was not just my teammate but my friend. I’m excited to witness all of his success both playing and coaching the game. Mark’s love for basketball is over the top; his willingness to learn the game from coaches and teammates throughout his career has set him up to be a great coach. I’m excited to see what this next chapter brings him.” – Robert Horry, Seven-time NBA champion

"Mark Madsen is one of the best human beings I’ve ever met. I was lucky to be teammates with him in college where he consistently demonstrated leadership, hustle and true friendship each and every day. His drive and positive energy inspired all of us to improve and work harder to achieve our goals. I’m so proud to see the coach he has become and how his players can look to him as an excellent role model for future success in all parts of their lives.” – Jason Collins, 15-year NBA veteran

“Mark was the teammate that every championship-level team must have on it; a player with boundless focus and energy coupled with a high basketball IQ and a willingness to sacrifice for his teammates and the greater team goal. Some people call those players the glue player – I call it the heart and soul of any successful team.” – Rick Fox, Three-time NBA champion

THE MADSEN FILE

Personal

Hometown: Danville, Calif.

Family: Wife: Hannah; Sons: William, Leroy; Daughter: Alexandria

Alma Mater: Stanford, 2000 & 2012 (BA, economics; MBA)

Playing Experience

1996-2000: Stanford

2000-03: Los Angeles Lakers

2003-09: Minnesota Timberwolves

Coaching Experience

2009-10: Utah Flash (Assistant Coach)

2012-13: Stanford (Assistant Coach)

2013: Los Angeles D-Fenders (Head Coach)

2013-19: Los Angeles Lakers (Assistant Coach)

2019-23: Utah Valley (Head Coach)

2023-Present: California (Head Coach)

Discussion from...

Mark Madsen Named Cal Men's Basketball Head Coach

10,747 Views | 51 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by calumnus
Deutsch
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Let the recruiting effort begin!
bearsandgiants
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He started with a blue tie and a "Go Bears" so he checks all the boxes for me.
OneTopOneChickenApple
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My anti-Furd standard is all screwed up now.
Troy Taylor to Stanford. Madsen here now.

We need to re-write the rules???
Grrrrah76
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I remember seeing Montgomery at a Cal football game and thinking how strange it was. I realize to these coaches, it's all about succeeding wherever they are. I am sure Madsen's competitive drive to win far exceeds any love for his old school. Are we the only college team with a Mad Dog as coach?
concernedparent
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Still not my top (plausible) choice, but am liking this hire more and more.
hehatenate
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graguna
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hehatenate said:


such a dork. So glad he is now OUR dork.
bearister
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I'm happy. A lot of hoop people that I respect saying very nice things about him.*


*Only Q conspiracy aficionados are claiming he is a Manchurian Candidate waiting to be activated by a Furdist.
Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection
Send my credentials to the House of Detention
I got some friends inside
bearsandgiants
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I have been enjoying sending the Madsen memes to the stanfurd alums in my life.
HearstMining
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OneTopOneChickenApple said:

My anti-Furd standard is all screwed up now.
Troy Taylor to Stanford. Madsen here now.

We need to re-write the rules???
bearister
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graguna said:

hehatenate said:


such a dork. So glad he is now OUR dork.


…like Monty became our ref baiting @$$h@le.
Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection
Send my credentials to the House of Detention
I got some friends inside
bearsandgiants
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Whether he's got more upside remains to be seen, but there's no denying Madsen is more of a household name than Pasternak, and people are talking about the Bears again, for the first time in a long time, if even for just a couple days.
calfanz
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Jump on the #MadDogTrain to escape HoopHell
annarborbear
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bearsandgiants said:

Whether he's got more upside remains to be seen, but there's no denying Madsen is more of a household name than Pasternak, and people are talking about the Bears again, for the first time in a long time, if even for just a couple days.
This hiring even made a front-page ESPN article headline. That is the same as a free recruiting advertisement.
offshorebear
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I used to play pick up at Maples in 1995-1997 while I was in school across the bay. Got invited by a well known math/EECS prof who taught a physics for athletes course that made him popular with AD/Leland.

In the spring and summer Madsen, Tim Young, Brevin Knight, Pete Sauer, Khris Weems, and others would dominate the game and we would just watch from the bench. They were all gracious and kind to us weekend warriors.

I will allow myself to get excited again about Cal basketball. Madsen is a home run hire imo.
CalFanatic
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I really love the interviews i've seen with him.... for once, I am excited about the future.
parentswerebears
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It is really hard for me to get excited.

Here are things that will do it for me:
1. Successful transfer pick ups, 2-3 good players
2. Retaining certain current players
3. Bring in a stud assistant coach
4. Hire an assistant coach with Cal ties
5. Hire an assistant coach who is tied in with the Soldiers and other aau teams.

Not all must be met, but 3 of 5 at the minimum.
wvitbear
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I remember him in high school. He was an animal.
59bear
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concernedparent said:

Still not my top (plausible) choice, but am liking this hire more and more.
You probably have plenty of company but I'm not sure there are many better "Plausible;e" choices. I can't say this is an exciting hire for me but if he can instill in his team the toughness/intensity he exhibited as a player we'll be better even without an infusion of talent. But if he can't recruit, we'll be back here in 3-4 years.
Cal Strong!
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Apart from being a furd, Mark Madsen is a very strong hire. But Cal Strong would like to see him do some serious public penance for his former affiliation with stanfurd. At a bare minimum, Kevin Johnson should supervise him running stadium steps until he pukes and he should be forced to do bear crawls back and forth at least 20 times on the floor of Haas kissing Oski's feet each time he makes it back to the baseline.

Seriously Moraga and others -- please ask about this at his introductory press conference. At worst, you will get a big laugh. And you can blame the question on Cal Strong. At best, we might actually get to see him do it -- which would be a strong video for recruiting and raising NIL funds.
Pittstop
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He has a B.A. in Economics and a Masters in Business (both from Stanford). I suspect that he will be able to navigate NIL just fine.
Cal Strong!
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Pittstop said:

He has a B.A. in Economics and a Masters in Business (both from Stanford). I suspect that he will be able to navigate NIL just fine.
Normally, Cal Strong would expect these qualifications from stanfurd to help him navigate prison for white color crimes
Pittstop
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He even has a wife named "Hannah" for God's sakes. It doesn't get any more "Norman Rockwell" than that. You can't make this stuff up.
HearstMining
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Cal Strong! said:

Pittstop said:

He has a B.A. in Economics and a Masters in Business (both from Stanford). I suspect that he will be able to navigate NIL just fine.
Normally, Cal Strong would expect these qualifications from stanfurd to help him navigate prison for white color crimes
Nah, he's overqualified for that. Elizabeth Holmes quit during her junior year to start Theranos.
calumnus
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Pittstop said:

He even has a wife named "Hannah" for God's sakes. It doesn't get any more "Norman Rockwell" than that. You can't make this stuff up.


He is a perfect, unicorn coach for Salt Lake City. We will see how he navigates Berkeley.
ktownbear83
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I watched Madsen play against Cal at Harmon, way back in the day. Yes he was NBA-level skilled and relentless and all that. But what struck me most about the guy was something no one mentions anymore. Sportsmanship. Respect for opponents.

Two recollections. First, he knocked a fair number of opponents on their butts. But when he did, he would go out of his way to be the first to help the guy back up. Like it was the most natural thing to do; you help your opponents back up as a matter of course. No gloating, no trashtalking. Just play the game, hard.

Second, his senior ear, his last game at Cal, late in the season. Just after they announced the starting line-up and the players were walking out to the center circle, Madsen scoots over to the Cal coach to shake his hand, briefly, to sort of acknowledge their four full years of going head to head. A little thing, and a little unusual, but a class act. I remember thinking and commenting to WVITbear at the time that this guy makes it impossible to hate him.

Can he recruit top players and assistants? Could be. Note the quotes in the article from other coaches. That's a mad level of respect for the guy. One such coach said he'd be thrilled to see his own son coached by Madsen. So Madsen already has a network of strong support among other coaches. Given his last four years at Utah and his LDS background, recruits out of Utah suddenly have reasons to look at Cal. Same for recruits from other states, in that a solid guy with some track record, and a complete do-over, might help offset perceptions of Cal as a place ok with a bottom-dwelling basketball team.

Given where Cal has been, a big move was needed. This hire qualifies, and has huge upside. I'll be back at Harmon. Anyone else?

Go Bears.
wraptor347
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Great anecdotes. He certainly seems like an authentic guy. I'm not impressed by what I've read about the process that led to him being hired but I'm optimistic about MM. I'm glad we didn't hire Stan Johnson or Miles...

Here's an anecdote from Faraudo's article the other day:
https://www.si.com/college/cal/basketball/madsen-background

After three seasons with the Lakers, Madsen spent six years with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Jeff Munneke, who spent decades working in the T-wolves' front office, told the Deseret News the story of Madsen volunteering to be a part of the team's youth basketball camp.

"What day would you like to come?" Munneke asked.

"No, no, I'll be there every day," Madsen said.

"Mark, the way it usually works is …"

"I know the way it works. But if my name is on a camp, I'll be there every day."

Recalled Munneke, "I almost fell out of my chair."

Madsen took the responsibility to the extent of greeting parents as they dropped their kids off at camp, and collecting gear from players across the NBA to share with campers.

"Mark Madsen was the coolest dude ever to come through here," Munneke told the newspaper. "He's my favorite player of all time. He was the most sincere."
4thGenCal
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ktownbear83 said:

I watched Madsen play against Cal at Harmon, way back in the day. Yes he was NBA-level skilled and relentless and all that. But what struck me most about the guy was something no one mentions anymore. Sportsmanship. Respect for opponents.

Two recollections. First, he knocked a fair number of opponents on their butts. But when he did, he would go out of his way to be the first to help the guy back up. Like it was the most natural thing to do; you help your opponents back up as a matter of course. No gloating, no trashtalking. Just play the game, hard.

Second, his senior ear, his last game at Cal, late in the season. Just after they announced the starting line-up and the players were walking out to the center circle, Madsen scoots over to the Cal coach to shake his hand, briefly, to sort of acknowledge their four full years of going head to head. A little thing, and a little unusual, but a class act. I remember thinking and commenting to WVITbear at the time that this guy makes it impossible to hate him.

Can he recruit top players and assistants? Could be. Note the quotes in the article from other coaches. That's a mad level of respect for the guy. One such coach said he'd be thrilled to see his own son coached by Madsen. So Madsen already has a network of strong support among other coaches. Given his last four years at Utah and his LDS background, recruits out of Utah suddenly have reasons to look at Cal. Same for recruits from other states, in that a solid guy with some track record, and a complete do-over, might help offset perceptions of Cal as a place ok with a bottom-dwelling basketball team.

Given where Cal has been, a big move was needed. This hire qualifies, and has huge upside. I'll be back at Harmon. Anyone else?

Go Bears.
Love the recollections - thanks for posting. Already has had a zoom meeting for the players and by All accounts the guys were pumped. He literally is genuine and very easy to like him/be comfortable with. Yes all of the accolades need to be backed up and quality players need to be recruited/admitted, but the prevailing belief is that He will deliver.
bearister
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HearstMining said:

Cal Strong! said:

Pittstop said:

He has a B.A. in Economics and a Masters in Business (both from Stanford). I suspect that he will be able to navigate NIL just fine.
Normally, Cal Strong would expect these qualifications from stanfurd to help him navigate prison for white color crimes
Nah, he's overqualified for that. Elizabeth Holmes quit during her junior year to start Theranos.




*Do you know how long I have been waiting for the set up for that?

Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection
Send my credentials to the House of Detention
I got some friends inside
bdbear
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I know it's my first post ever and I've been lurking here for it seems like 20 years but, he sounds like a great guy. One who I'd hire to babysit my kids. Kind of reminds me of a football coach we had a while ago. Hopefully, this hire is a better coach.
GerryLopezBear
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Home Run Hire!!!
Character and Integrity matter to me A lot
This is someone to root for
I am back at Haas next year for the first step

Anyone who can read those descriptions and not feel grateful that he chose Cal, I don't really understand and I hope they will get on board and lean in..
parentswerebears
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I look forward to hearing who the assistants are and which players he's bringing in.
calfanz
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Get on the #MadDogTrain and ride out of HoopsHell
AunBear89
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What kind of OOC schedule will Mad Dog have for his first season at Cal? I assume one MTE, maybe a couple of roadies in Mountain and/or Pacific Time Zones., and a bunch of cupcakes at home. Any real info out there?
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." -- (maybe) Benjamin Disraeli, popularized by Mark Twain
philbert
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pretty cool


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