California athletic director Jim Knowlton has fired men's basketball coach Mark Fox, sources told CBS Sports.
The decision was made following Cal's 69-52 loss to Washington State Wednesday in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament, a defeat that ended the Bears' dreadful season at 3-29. It's the fewest wins (in a season of three or more games) and worst winning percentage for Cal's men's basketball program in its 114-year history.
The Golden Bears ranked right alongside Louisville (4-28) as the worst high-major programs in the sport in 2022-23. Unlike California, Louisville just finished its first season under a new coach.
Fox was brought on in 2019 to replace Wyking Jones, who went 16-47 in two seasons. Fox leaves California in no stronger place, having gone 38-89 overall and 17-61 in Pac-12 play. The program has been mired in irrelevancy for more than half a decade. Cal last made the NCAA Tournament in 2016 under Cuonzo Martin. It last won a tournament game in 2013 under Mike Montgomery, and last won a conference title in 2010 with him as well. It last made the Sweet 16 in 1997 under Ben Braun.
The Golden Bears have fallen behind in the age of NIL and hyperactivity in the transfer portal. The program lost a few key players to transfer in the past couple of years. This season's team was besieged by injuries. The Golden Bears took home losses in November to the likes of UC Davis, Southern and Texas State. It also fell on the road against UC San Diego, a school in its third season of Division I, and dropped a home game to Eastern Washington.
Fox formerly coached at Georgia and Nevada, where he made five NCAA Tournament appearances at those two places between 2004-18. His career record is 324-263. His contract stipulates he'll be paid through the 2024-25 season.