Cal Basketball: We Want Your Opinion -- Was Mark Fox a Good Hire as Head Coach?

Tell us what you think of Cal's choice to head the men's basketball program

We want to know what our readers think.

Cal hired Mark Fox, who has 14 years of Division I head coaching experience -- nine at Georgia and five at Nevada. Fox was chosen by athletic director Jim Knowlton to lead a Cal men's basketball program that went 16-47 in two seasons under Wyking Jones.

Is Fox the right man for the job?

Should Jones have been fired?

Write a response in the comment section below, and we might post a story focusing on one or two of the best responses. We want to get a feel for what people think of the move.

Comments (12)
No. 1-11
wordjockey
wordjockey

I agree wholeheartedly with the excellent points raised by sraber above. After the amateurish search process, I hope that our AD lucked into a hire which will lead to recruitment of high quality student-athletes, creative assistant coach selections and a return to a Men's Basketball Program in which we can all be proud!

CalAlumnus
CalAlumnus

The concern should not be whether Fox was a good hire. The concern should be the process that led to his hiring. It was deeply flawed. Knowlton dropped the ball by not being more proactive. He should have had a list of potential replacements in hand as soon as the season ended. Instead, he vacillated. He compounded this error by engaging a search firm that did him no favors. Knowlton is off to a very rocky start. By botching this hiring process, he screwed up the single most important task an AD has - hiring head coaches for the two revenue sports in the program.

Bear21
Bear21

Nothing against Mark Fox directly, but I don't believe he was the right hire. Cal's mens basketball program has several holes to fill, and requires a coach not just looking for his next Div I job, but willing to role up his sleeves and work. Recruiting is broken, on court identity is ambiguous as best, and presence in the community is spotty. For a program with such a rich history, they don't have anyone evangelizing a message that can get fan buy-in, and attract top recruits. Jones had to be fired because he'd clearly lost the trust of the players. I'd love to see Fox do well and turn the program around, but if he's successful my bet is that he'll leverage for a job at a higher profile school with deeper pockets. I don't see him making to a conference semi-final, let alone NCAA tournament.

left
left

Jones was not a good coach. That many players have indicated that they might transfer suggests that he was a nice guy, but his schemes looked about like what we were doing in high school 60 years ago. At best, maybe he was teaching what he learned when he played at Loyola Marymount. Player development was slow and defense was almost a second thought. Mark Fox will be good. I think his initial greeting to the team was poor -- the almost threatening presentation of his expectations came across as a harsh assessment of what they had accomplished, and probably scared some of the players into bailing out of the program. That said, he knows how to coach. At this point the key for him is to find a staff that can identify talent and bring top players to Cal. Beyond that, he must try to convince some of the departing players to stay -- particularly Connor Vanover, who has NBA stardom in his future if developed properly. Whatever success Fox might have at Cal will depend on his ability to teach the players how to play the game. That includes teaching individual skills as well as imparting the knowledge of how to function efficiently as a five-man team. I think Fox can do both, and I think the results will be evident in the first year.

NWBear91
NWBear91

I don’t understand the criticisms of the process. “Jones not fired fast enough?” What is that about? What is gained by firing him within 48 hrs vs within a week?? Why rush that? I appreciate that Knowlton appears to have been respectful to Jones (by not publicly conducting the search while the season was going), respectful of the players by including them in the process, and respectful of the big donors by working with them in a collaborative way. This process means it takes a week to fire the coach. I’m in favor of that approach. As for Fox, who knows?? He’s had some success and some mediocrity. What we don’t know about him yet is what has he learned from his unsuccessful experiences. That will determine whether he will be successful at Cal. There are many great coaches who were not great earlier in their career, but learned and improved with experience. I like the staff hires he’s made so far. That’s very important.