Friday, June 9, 2023

Cal hires Mark Madsen as basketball coach

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) – California is hiring a former Stanford star to revitalize its struggling basketball program.

The Golden Bears announced Wednesday that Mark Madsen was signed to replace the fired Mark Fox after the worst season in school history.

Athletic director Jim Knowlton said, “We did an exhaustive search, and one name kept rising to the top – and that’s Mark Madsen.” “Mark is a guy 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 to compete. We We want an ambassador for this program who will do us proud and develop our youth – both on and off the court. I am absolutely thrilled that Mark will lead our program into the future.”

Madsen played at Stanford under Mike Montgomery, who later coached at Cal from 1996 to 2000 and helped the Cardinals reach the Final Four in 1998.

After a nine-year playing career in the NBA that included two title appearances as a backup on the Lakers in 2001–02, Madsen moved into coaching.

He spent a year in the NBA’s developmental league and a year at Stanford before spending five seasons on the Lakers staff.

Madsen was then hired in 2019 to take over at Utah Valley State. They posted a 70–51 record over four years with a 28–9 mark this season before losing to UAB in the NIT semifinals on Tuesday night.

Madsen said, “Having grown up in this area, I have always admired Cal as an institution and as an athletic program; many of my teachers, coaches and friends are influential Cal graduates.” academic and athletic prowess and who will represent Cal with pride.

Madsen is the third head coach to switch sides in recent years in the Bay Area rivalry between Cal and Stanford. The Cardinals hired former Cal quarterback Troy Taylor to take over the football program last season, and Bears women’s basketball coach Charmaine Smith played and coached at Stanford as an assistant.

Madsen faced a difficult task, handling a program that went 3–29 under Fox and set a school record for most losses and worst winning percentage in a season.

Cal went 38–87 during Fox’s tenure, ending his final season on a 16-game losing streak. Fox’s .304 winning percentage ranking is the second worst in school history behind predecessor Viking Jones’ 16–47 mark (.254) in the two seasons prior to Fox’s arrival.

The Bears have not gone to the NCAA Tournament since 2016 and have not won a game in the tournament since 2013 under Montgomery.

Adding to the issues for Fox was a complete lack of interest in the program. Cal’s home attendance was just 2,155 this season, the lowest mark among any team in the Power 5 or Big East. That’s down from Cuonzo Martin’s average of 9,307 per game last season in 2016-17 and down from 5,627 the year before Fox arrived.

Cal had the worst winning percentage of any school in the six major conferences during Fox’s tenure. The Bears were the lowest scoring team (62.4 points per game) in all of Division I under Fox and had the worst scoring margin of any major conference team under Fox.


AP College Basketball: and and

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