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#pounditTuesday, April 16, 2024

Cal hiring ex-Lakers champion to be their next head coach

Mark Madsen yelling to his team

Mar 28, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Utah Valley Wolverines head coach Mark Madsen calls to his team in the second half against the UAB Blazers at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The Cal Golden Bears are hiring a guy who once had big success elsewhere in the state.

Jeff Goodman of Stadium reported Wednesday that Cal has agreed to a deal with former NBA center Mark Madsen to be their next head coach. Madsen had been coaching at Utah Valley and was expected to take the coaching job at Stanford, his alma mater, but it never opened up.

Cal later confirmed the news in a post to their Twitter page.

Nicknamed “Mad Dog,” Madsen, 47, played in the NBA for nine seasons from 2000-09. He was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers’ championship teams in 2001 and 2002, serving as a backup to Shaquille O’Neal (and as an occasional spot starter). Madsen was known for his energetic interior play … as well as his dancing.

After retiring as a player, Madsen coached in the NBA G League and even served as an assistant for the Lakers from 2013-19. He took the Utah Valley job in 2019, leading the team to an overall record of 70-51 (.579) with two WAC regular season championships and an NIT Tournament berth in his four seasons. Madsen also won WAC Coach of the Year for this season.

For Cal, they have fallen on extremely rough times. This season, the Golden Bears were a putrid 3-29 (.094) and finished just 38-87 (.304) over previous coach Mark Fox’s four seasons in charge. They had some other interesting head coaching targets but have now picked The Mad Dog to be their guy.

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