March 24, 2019 / 10:47 PM / 3 months ago

Cal fires coach Jones; Kidd reportedly on radar

Mar 7, 2019; Stanford, CA, USA; California Golden Bears head coach Wyking Jones reacts after the call during the second half against the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

California fired basketball coach Wyking Jones on Sunday after two seasons and a 16-47 record.

“This was a difficult decision to make and comes after a deliberate and holistic review of our men’s basketball program,” Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton said in a prepared statement. “As always, we were guided by the best interests of our student-athletes, as well as the values and objectives of Cal Athletics and our University. As we quickly turn toward our search for a new head coach for our men’s basketball program, I am certain that we will attract a strong, talented and highly qualified pool of candidates. I am confident that we will find someone who will help lead us on a path to being exceptional.”

Already, speculation has focused on some high-profile candidates, including Cal alum Jason Kidd, Nevada coach Eric Musselman and Russell Turner, whose UC Irvine team beat Kansas State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, according to John Canzano of The Oregonian.

Cal finished the season 8-23 overall and 3-15 in the Pac-12. In Jones’ first season (2017-18), the Golden Bears were 8-24 overall and 2-16 in the conference.

Cal hired Jones, who had been an assistant coach for two seasons, in March 2017 to replace Cuonzo Martin, who won 62 games in three seasons before leaving the Golden Bears for Missouri.

If Kidd is indeed on the Bears’ radar, there could be some competition for his services. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday that Kidd will be “among the serious candidates” if Luke Walton is dismissed with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kidd, a San Francisco native, played two seasons at Cal (1992-94) and was a consensus first-time All-American in his second season. He went on to play 19 years for four teams in the NBA, being selected to 10 All-Star teams. He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.

Now 46, Kidd has coached in the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets (2013-14) and Milwaukee Bucks (2014-18) and has a 183-190 career record.

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