The Cuonzo Martin Era at Cal a legacy of incompleteness

Posted March 17, 2017

Jeff Goodman of ESPN reports that California Golden Bears basketball coach Cuonzo Martin has been offered the head coaching job by the Missouri Tigers.

Martin, who spent the last three seasons at Cal, informed athletic director Matt Williams this morning. "We put forth our best effort to retain him, but he told me it wasn't about Cal, rather a strong desire to move closer to home", Williams said.

His final Cal team finished 21-13 after being upset by Cal State-Bakersfield in the opening round of the NIT Tuesday.

Sources say Missouri Athletics Director Jim Sterk met with Martin in Oakland, California, and was impressed with the coach.

Previously, Martin was also a longtime assistant coach at Purdue. He replaced loved Volunteers coach Bruce Pearl, who was sacked in 2011 after NCAA violations but was eligible to be rehired in 2014. Martin's first head coaching job was with the Missouri State Bears.

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Three years ago, Tennessee Volunteers fans chased Cuonzo Martin out of the Southeastern Conference despite a Sweet 16 appearance, mainly for not being his popular predecessor, Bruce Pearl.

While many in the Midwest may not follow Cal and Pac-12 basketball, Martin's home for the past three years, his roots and early coaching experience come from the Midwest.

All the details of his contract have not been released, but the news was first broken by ESPN's Jeff Goodman, who says they are now working on a deal that would land Martin in Missouri for the next seven years. Overall he's 186-121, and led both Tennessee and Cal to one NCAA Tournament appearance apiece. The Atlanta Hawks selected the First Team All-Big 10 player in the second round of the National Basketball Association draft.

The Bears lost to Indiana State in the Valley tournament title game in the 2010-11 season, then accepted an NIT bid and lost at Miami (Florida) in the second round.

Martin has proven his recruiting talents by bringing five-star players like Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb to Cal in 2014.