Cal Hires Wyking Jones As Head Coach

The California Golden Bears promoted assistant Wyking Jones to head coach Friday. Jones replaces Cuonzo Martin, who recently left to accept the head-coaching job at Missouri.

Cuonzo Martin’s departure from Cal was rumored for weeks before he left to accept the head-coaching job at Missouri on March 15. Nine days later, the Bears tabbed his replacement.

Cal promoted assistant Wyking Jones to head coach Friday, staying in-house rather than going outside the program again. The Bears decided not to throw a significant amount of money at a big-name head coach, and instead promote within. Reports that Nevada coach Eric Musselman was close to accepting an offer from Cal were untrue.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, who also noted promoting Jones was a “shocking move,” reported that Jones has agreed to a five-year deal.

“To be able to lead this incredible group of men is a dream come true for me,” Jones said in a statement. “We will work hard to continue to elevate Cal basketball.”

Jones received the interim label after Martin resigned after being an assistant under Martin for two seasons. Prior to that, Jones was an assistant on Rick Pitino’s staff at Louisville.

“Wyking is a hard worker and recruiter, and he is more than ready to be a head coach,” Pitino told ESPN. “All three from my [2013] championship team were awesome – Kevin Keatts [now the head coach at N.C. State], Wyking Jones and Kareem Richardson [UMKC].”

Jones played at Loyola Marymount from 1991-95, beginning his college career there one year after the Lions made a run to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight. He went on to have a successful professional career overseas before returning to the U.S. and entering the coaching ranks.

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