Cal Fires Head Basketball Coach Wyking Jones

Photo Courtesy Cal Athletics

Wyking Jones, who has guided California men’s basketball for the past two seasons, will not return as head coach of the Golden Bears next year, Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton announced Sunday.

In two seasons at the helm for the Bears, Jones posted a 16-47 record, which included back-to-back wins at Stanford, a marquee upset of No. 25 Washington and a 2-0 record over San Diego State.

“I am grateful to Wyking for his unflagging dedication and commitment to our program during his tenure at Cal, both as a head coach and as an assistant coach,” Knowlton said. “I have witnessed – and respected – his strong work ethic, commitment to the University’s mission and, perhaps most importantly, his extraordinary care and concern for our student-athletes.

“This was a difficult decision to make and comes after a deliberate and holistic review of our men’s basketball program,” Knowlton continued. “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.” 

This past season, Cal went 8-23 overall and 3-15 in Pac-12 play, closing out the regular season with three consecutive wins, including a home sweep of the Washington programs and a win at Stanford. Cal fell to Colorado, 56-51, in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament to end the season.

Cal slightly improved its record from an 8-24 overall, 2-16 Pac-12 finish in Jones’ first season in 2017-18. The Bears finished 12th in the Pac-12 in both of his seasons, with first-round exits in the conference tournament.

In the classroom, two student-athletes received Pac-12 All-Academic nods – Nick Hamilton (first team, 2018) and Justice Sueing (honorable mention, 2019).

Jones earned the head coaching job at Cal on March 24, 2017, after serving as an assistant coach for the Bears for two seasons.

The University’s national search for Jones’ replacement begins immediately.

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