Wyking Jones’ tenure at Cal is one that is unlikely to be replicated for several generations, if ever, for all the wrong reasons. Jones’ time as head coach featured a composite 16-47 record, a program-worst 16-game losing streak, numerous transfers, numerous canceled commitments and, of course, drama.
The following is a timeline of the most significant events of Jones’ tenure at Cal, beginning with his hiring as an assistant and ending with his firing.
April 23, 2015 — Jones is officially introduced as an assistant coach under head coach Cuonzo Martin. Before joining Cal, Jones had been an assistant at his alma mater Loyola Marymount as well as Pepperdine, New Mexico and Louisville.
December 2015 — Four-star prospect Jemarl Baker (class of 2017) commits to Cal.
June 11, 2016 — Marcus Lee, a former Deer Valley High School standout, verbally commits to transfer to Cal. As a junior at Kentucky, Lee averaged 6.4 points and 6.0 rebounds.
July 11, 2016 — Juhwan Harris-Dyson (class of 2017) commits to Cal.
November 2016 — Three-star prospect Trevin Knell commits to Cal.
February 1, 2017 — Three-star prospect Justice Sueing (class of 2017) commits to Cal.
March 1, 2017 — Grant Anticevich (class of 2017) commits to Cal.
March 14, 2017 — Cal loses to CSU Bakersfield in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament, 73-66. Jabari Bird and Ivan Rabb do not play because of injury.
March 15, 2017 — Cuonzo Martin resigns as Cal’s head coach. Jones will serve as interim head coach. In the coming days, several names begin to float around regarding Cal’s head coach vacancy, including Randy Bennett, Eric Musselman and Theo Robertson, among others.
March 22, 2017 — Rabb declares for the 2017 NBA draft. Rabb is the sixth player Cal has lost since season’s end, the other five being seniors Bird, Grant Mullins, Sam Singer, Roger Moute a Bidias and Stephen Domingo.
March 24, 2017 — Jones is officially promoted to head coach. While Jones has been an assistant at several programs, he has yet to be a head coach at the collegiate level.
March 28, 2017 — Jemarl Baker receives a release from his letter of intent.
April 13, 2017 — Starting point guard Charlie Moore announces that he will transfer closer to his native Chicago in order to be closer to his father. Cal has now lost seven players since the end of the season.
April 26, 2017 — Three-star prospect Deschon Winston (class of 2017) commits to Cal.
April 27, 2017 — Starting center Kameron Rooks receives his release from the program with the intention of being a graduate transfer. With the loss of Rooks, the eighth player since the end of the season, Cal has now lost its entire starting lineup. Don Coleman and Kingsley Okoroh are the only contributors slated to return.
May 16, 2017 — Boise State point guard Paris Austin announces his intent to transfer to Cal. Austin will sit out the 2017-18 season because of NCAA transfer regulations.
May 18, 2017 — Ben Parker reports that Austin McCullough (class of 2017) has committed to Cal.
May 25, 2017 — Trevin Knell receives a release from his letter of intent. Cal has now lost two commits since the end of the season.
May 31, 2017 — Four-star prospect Jacobi Gordon (class of 2018) commits to Cal.
June 1, 2017 — Four-star prospect Matt Bradley (class of 2018) commits to Cal.
June 22, 2017 — Three-star prospect Darius McNeill (class of 2017), who initially commit to Iowa State, commits to Cal.
Sept. 4, 2017 — Three-star prospect Andre Kelly commits to Cal.
Nov. 10, 2017 — In Jones’ first game as head coach, Cal loses to UC Riverside, 74-66. Don Coleman scores 31 points but attempts 28 shots and 19 free throws. Marcus Lee has eight points and 10 rebounds in his debut.
Nov. 22, 2017 — Cal loses to Division II Chaminade at the Maui Invitational, 96-72.
“For me, in all the years that I’ve been coaching, I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life from the lack of effort from our guys,” Jones said after the game.
Nov. 28, 2017 — Cal Athletics announces that assistant head coach Theo Robertson is on leave.
Dec. 21, 2017 — Cal concludes nonconference play with a crushing 106-81 loss to Portland State at home. With a 6-7 record, Cal finishes with a losing record in nonconference play for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
Jan. 25 and 27, 2018 — Leading scorer Don Coleman is suspended for a violation of team rules and misses Cal’s games against UCLA and USC. Cal loses both games.
Jan. 30, 2018 — Jon Rothstein reports that Brandon Chauca has received a release from the program and will be a graduate transfer.
March 7, 2018 — Seniors Marcus Lee and Kingsley Okoroh play their final games at Cal in a 76-58 loss to Stanford in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament. Coleman is slated to be the team’s only senior for the 2018-19 season.
March 20, 2018 — Coleman announces his intent to transfer. As a junior, Coleman led Cal in scoring at 14.2 points per game. With Coleman transferring, Cal is projected to have no seniors for the 2018-19 season.
April 12, 2018 — Three-star prospect Connor Vanover (class of 2018) commits to Cal.
April 25, 2018 — Ben Parker reports that Deschon Winston and Austin McCullough will not return for Cal for the 2018-19 season.
April 26, 2018 — Evan Daniels reports that five-star prospect Jordan Brown has Cal, Nevada and Arizona in his top three. Brown is considered one of the best young big men in the country.
May 10, 2018 — Former Cal player Brandon Chauca publishes a blog post titled “The Truth” that discusses his dismissal from the team. In response to the post, Cal Athletics releases the following statement:
“Brandon Chauca was dismissed from the Cal men’s basketball program in June 2017 for a violation of team and university policies. However, he has continued to retain his scholarship and remains on aid through the completion of his Cal degree.
We did not initially disclose the reason for Brandon leaving the team in order to protect his privacy. The reasons for the dismissal were clearly communicated to him.”
May 11, 2018 — Jordan Brown (class of 2018) commits to Nevada over Arizona and Cal. Losing out on Brown leaves Cal with a thin frontcourt featuring Grant Anticevich, Andre Kelly and Connor Vanover.
June 27, 2018 — Matz Stockman, a graduate transfer from Minnesota, announces that he will be transferring to Cal for the 2018-19 season. Stockman gives Cal a defensive-minded center to fill the hole left by Kingsley Okoroh.
Aug. 7, 2018 — Matz Stockman reverses course and decides to return to Minnesota. According to the Star Tribune, Stockman remained at Minnesota “after the process to enroll at another school became too difficult.”
Nov. 9, 2018 — In the first game of the 2018-19 season, Cal loses to Yale, 76-59, in the Pac-12 China Game. Cal becomes the first Pac-12 team to lose the annual match.
Feb. 3, 2019 — Cal loses to Stanford on Super Bowl Sunday in front of a thin crowd. The loss extends Cal’s losing streak to 10 games, tied for the longest in program history.
Feb. 6, 2019 — Cal loses to Oregon. The skid extends to 11 games, and the 2018-19 Bears are now the holders of the longest losing streak in program history.
Feb. 24, 2019 — Cal loses to Arizona State. The losing streak hits 16 games.
Feb. 28, 2019 — After going longer than two months without a win, Cal upsets No. 25 Washington at home to finally snap the losing streak.
March 22, 2019, 9:59 a.m. PDT — Jeff Goodman reports that Jones will remain Cal’s head coach for a third season.
March 22, 2019, 12:04 p.m. PDT — Evan Daniels reports that Darius McNeill will be transferring from the program.
March 24, 2019, 1:18 p.m. PDT — John Canzano reports that Jones has been fired.
March 24, 2019, 1:26 p.m. PDT — Canzano reports that several players met with Athletic Director Jim Knowlton, prompting a reversal on the initial decision to keep Jones for another season.
March 24, 2019, 1:45 p.m. PDT — On the two-year anniversary of him being promoted to head coach, Cal Athletics officially announces that it has parted ways with Wyking Jones.