Cal Hires Two-Time NBA Champion to Resurrect Basketball Program

A poorly-kept secret turned official Wednesday morning when Cal formally employed Mark Madsen to develop into the varsity’s nineteenth head basketball coach.

Madsen was head coach at Utah Valley for the previous 4 seasons, guiding the Wolverines to a 70-51 document and a pair of Western Athletic Convention (WAC) common season titles. The Wolverines have been defeated on Tuesday evening by UAB within the NIT Semifinals in Las Vegas.

Madsen was lengthy thought-about the inheritor obvious to the job at his alma mater, Stanford, however the Cardinal determined to retain Jerod Haase after a disappointing 14-19 season. Stanford was one among simply three groups to lose to Cal all season because the Golden Bears went 3-29 underneath Mark Fox, who was fired on the season’s conclusion.

A Bay Space native, Madsen was born in Walnut Creek and performed for legendary coach John Raynor at San Ramon Valley earlier than taking a two-year Mormon mission to Málaga. The Cardinal reached the Last 4 in Madsen’s sophomore yr, 1998. He then went on to win two NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, the place he turned successful at championship parades each for his fluency in Spanish and his dance strikes. After three years as a bench participant for the Lakers, he spent six seasons in an identical function for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Mark Madsen led Utah Valley to the NIT Semifinals earlier than taking up head teaching for Cal’s basketball staff. | Sam Wasson/Getty Pictures

Madsen was an assistant coach at Stanford for the 2012-13 season underneath Johnny Dawkins, then assisted with the Lakers from 2013 to 2019 earlier than taking the Utah Valley job. His predecessor, Mark Pope, beat him out for the place at BYU. Madsen’s UVU groups beat the Cougars in every of the final two seasons, defeating them at residence in additional time in December 2021 and posting a convincing 15-point win in Provo in 2022.

After not touchdown the job on the flagship college of his religion or at his alma mater, Madsen has as a substitute landed together with his collegiate rival, on a campus barely 20 miles from his highschool. He already has expertise recruiting from the Bay Space; Vallejo native and Salesian alum Jaden McClanahan was on his staff at Utah Valley this season.

Whereas Madsen is most remembered within the Bay Space for his time at Stanford, coaches crossing to the opposite aspect of the Cal-Stanford rivalry isn’t new. Mike Montgomery, who coached Madsen at Stanford, coached the Golden Bears for six years after spending 18 seasons at Stanford. Cardinal baseball coach David Esquer held the Cal job earlier than the place opened up at his alma mater, and new Stanford soccer coach Troy Taylor quarterbacked Cal for 4 seasons within the Nineteen Eighties.

Ethan Kassel might be reached at [email protected]