Cal named Mark Madsen its new head coach on Wednesday, hiring a four-year player from the Bears’ bitter rival to lead their program.
Madsen starred at Stanford from 1996-2000 and was a two-time All-Pac-12 forward.
“We conducted an exhaustive search, and one name kept rising to the top — and that’s Mark Madsen,” Cal director of athletics Jim Knowlton said. “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, 48, is fresh off taking Utah Valley to the NIT semifinals, where they lost to UAB on Tuesday night. Madsen went 70-51 in four seasons at Utah Valley, twice winning the WAC regular-season title.
Madsen was recently named the WAC Coach of the Year.
“I am extremely grateful to Chancellor (Carol) 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.”
With nine seasons in the NBA to his credit, the last in 2008-09, Madsen replaces Mark Fox, who was fired earlier this month after a 3-29 season. Fox went 38-87 in four seasons leading the Bears.
Cal lands Madsen after first trying to pry Randy Bennett from Saint Mary’s.
Speculation centered on Madsen returning to coach at Stanford, but the school decided to keep Jerod Haase despite missing the NCAA Tournament for a seventh consecutive season.
Cal’s last NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2016, with the program not advancing past the first round since 2013.
–Field Level Media