Mark Fox named new head coach of Cal men’s basketball

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Mark Fox has been named the new head coach of Cal men’s basketball, Cal Athletics announced Friday afternoon.

“Mark Fox is a man of unparalleled integrity with a proven record of success as a head basketball coach,” said Athletic Director Jim Knowlton in a press release. “He is an inspiring leader, a teacher and an exceptional communicator who has displayed a strong commitment to developing the entire student-athlete on the court and off the court.”

Fox, 50, did not coach last season after being fired from Georgia after the 2017-18 season but brings 14 seasons of head coaching experience and a cumulative record of 286-176 to the table, as well as an additional 12 seasons as an assistant.

At Georgia, Fox compiled an overall record of 163-133 with two NCAA Tournament and three National Invitation Tournament appearances. Under Fox, Georgia won 20-plus games in three consecutive seasons, a feat it had not achieved since the late 1990s.

Fox also spent five seasons at Nevada where he led the Wolf Pack to a 123-43 record, three NCAA Tournament appearances and one conference championship. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, Fox was named the Western Athletic Conference’s Coach of the Year.

“Cindy and I are extremely excited to join the Cal family and lead the basketball program,” Fox said in the press release. “The academic excellence of the University of California combined with the vision and leadership of Jim Knowlton offer an amazing opportunity. I appreciate Chancellor Christ and Jim’s belief and trust in me to lead this proud program forward.”

In the press release, Fox received endorsements from Jeff Van Gundy, Brad Stevens and Geno Auriemma.

“Mark is a great coach, and an even better person,” Stevens said in the press release. “He is someone that is committed to operating with the highest of integrity in leading a basketball program. Cal hit a home run.”

Having spent time at Washington and Nevada, Fox also brings a familiarity with the West Coast recruiting scene.

Fox will inherit a Cal team that has just endured the worst two-year stretch in program history, having gone 16-47 under Jones. Aside from Darius McNeill, who announced he would be transferring, the Bears are projected to bring back their entire team from last season in addition to its recruiting class.

In addition to Fox’s salary, Cal will also have to pay Jones the remaining $3 million from his five-year, $5 million contract.

Fox will be introduced at a press conference Monday at 10 a.m. at Haas Pavilion.

Justice delos Santos covers men’s basketball. Contact Justice delos Santos at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @justdelossantos.