Cal men’s basketball has hired Mark Madsen as its new head coach, Cal Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton announced Wednesday.
Madsen is coming off a 28-9 season as head coach of Utah Valley — the winningest in school history. This month, the Wolverines reached the NIT semifinals for the first time ever, their first postseason appearance during his tenure, in his fourth season in charge.
Born in Walnut Creek, Madsen is an East Bay local. He began his basketball career as a player at Stanford, where he was selected as a two-time All-American before spending nine years with the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves. Madsen was an assistant coach for the Lakers for six years prior to his appointment as Utah Valley head coach in 2019.
“Having grown up in the area, I have always admired Cal as an institution and as an athletic program, with so many of my teachers, coaches and friends impressive Cal graduates,” Madsen said to Cal Athletics. “We will win with young men who have elite academic and athletic talent and who will represent Cal with pride.”
Madsen replaces Mark Fox, who was fired March 9 and leaves Cal in a state of disarray.
Fox led Cal to its worst-ever season by winning percentage at .094 (a 3-29 record) this past season. Madsen will inherit a depleted roster with four of the Bears’ six leading scorers in Lars Thiemann, Kuany Kuany, Joel Brown and Sam Alajiki all having entered the transfer portal since the end of the season.
Madsen will need to lean on his connections in the Bay Area, professional coaching experience and proven success at the college level to rebuild a distressed Cal program.