Basketball: Chris Mack staying put at Xavier; Eric Musselman no longer in the running, either


Xavier’s Chris Mack is out as a candidate to become the next Cal basketball coach, and two sources said that former Warriors coach Eric Musselman is not the frontrunner, either.

Mack, 44, decided Saturday to remain at Xavier, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, after guiding the Musketeers to four NCAA tournaments in his five seasons, including a pair of Sweet 16 appearances.

Musselman, who resigned as assistant coach at Arizona State on Monday, was immediately tabbed in a CBS Sports story as Cal’s latest target. This newspaper confirmed that Musselman was interviewed by athletic director Sandy Barbour.

But two other sources, one of them from within the Cal athletic department and the other with knowledge of the process, both said that contact was early in the search and that Musselman, 49, no longer is an active candidate.

Nearly two weeks after Mike Montgomery retired March 31, it’s unclear who the Bears will hire to fill the position.

Confirmed as having interviewed are Cal associate coach Travis DeCuire and UC Irvine coach Russell Turner.

Musselman’s coaching resume is dominated by experience in the professional ranks. His two seasons under Herb Sendek at ASU are his only two as a Division I college coach.

He coached the Warriors to a record of 38-41 in 2002-03, a 17-game improvement over the previous season and their best mark in 10 years. He was runnerup in NBA Coach of the Year voting.

A year later, he was fired after going 37-45.

Musselman coached the Sacramento Kings to a record of 33-49 in 2006-07, bringing his three-year NBA coaching total to 108-138.

Musselman earned 2012 Coach of the Year honors in the NBA’s developmental league with the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Wehofx

    The hoops equivalent of j mora?

  • Juancho

    Lets hope brother. I prefer him over the other two candidates mentioned. He has a much better rolodex.

  • Steve Fischer

    In the CBS Story which was short on detail, it does mention that he knows Northern California well. OK but I bet there are cabbies who know it a lot better.- he is not comparable to Jim Crews now at St Louis ( I think he was conf coach of the year). Crews was an asst under Bobby Knight and coach of the Evansville Aces. He brought them to the NCAAs 5 times-n ot bad for a small school that has IU, Notre Dame and Purdue to compete with.

  • GoBears49

    Musselman does not have any college coaching experience and did not shine at all coaching in the pro’s. It will be sad day if it turns out Cal has decided that he is their best choice. I’d clearly stay with DeCuire over Musselman.


  • Steve Fischer

    Picking Decurie would be admitting we had little other options. Here’s a controversial one–Isiah Thomas who has a Masters’ from Cal. he was not able to make Florida Intl into a winner so that may be a strike against him. He coached the Indiana Pacers and did bring up some good players but lost in the playoffs each time. He’s had some legal issues but has “star”power. Would he be my first pick -hell no but he’s a lot better than what we are looking at now.

  • JB Don’t Dance

    We are not a step up from Xavier.

  • Juancho

    This is a reflection on the AD. The fact nobody here really seems thrilled with our options should be a sign we are poorly run top down. It’s an argument people use against my Raiders all the time. And now it seems like it’s bled over to Cal.

  • Eric

    Juancho’s comment is dead on. At minimum, it is on AD for hiring the search firm that has done very poorly on this search (I’m giving SD another year before I criticize the hiring).

  • Wehofx

    Last few days I’ve had time to check twitter regularly. JF has been leading the pack in breaking – authenticated – stories on coach search.

    Pretty funny to watch everyone else scrambling behind the Chairman of btb aka the Journalist!

  • Willie Yee

    The bigger story is that one of the fan internet sites is reporting that Barbour will not be making this hire. It will be Wilton’s decision. Don’t know if it is true or not. Not a ringing endorsement for her job security if her responsibilities have been reduced. Believe that her contract will expire within a year or so.

  • Earl

    I’m perfectly fine with Travis Decuire. He’d be a good choice. I think he’s going to be a good coach.

  • Earl

    The only thing we do better is pay salaries. Xavier is cheap.

  • GoBears49

    I am getting the very strong feeling that everybody who wanted Monty to leave (and you know who you are) will, in less than a year, will be longing for the days when we went to the NCAA’s four out of six years and were in the hunt to get in one of the other two years. Given the caliber of people we are interviewing who seem serious in taking the Cal coaching job, we may be headed downhill, though maybe the current assistant coach may be a gem in the rough (and at least the current players think he is good).

    What is interesting about the news flow relating to hiring a new coach is that the Cal head coaching job is not that attractive and is not the best place for recruits to play at, at least compared to a lot of other places in the Pac-12. After we hire someone, we need to take a strong look at that and fix what we can, or else we are bound for mediocrity. Probably the same issues apply to the football program.

  • Juancho

    No I’m not. This is the same Tedford argument that was used. Anything bad that happens here on out is in absentia of the misdeeds of the predecessor.

    That’s absolute BS.

    Monty himself said he retired because his fire and passion are gone. We saw it all year with poorly prepared teams that looked asleep in the first half, and with lacklustre recruiting.

    My opinion is those that have argued that Sandy Barbour is doing a great job because softball, swimming and women’s basketball (for one season) did well, are going to start realizing this program has been devalued beyond repair – unless a new AD is hired.

  • acaldude

    I don’t agree at all. This is a tough place to coach, otherwise someone would have done a better job over the last 40 years, not just the Barbour tenure. The fact that she has not yet found (or at least announced) the right person is more a statement about Cal than her.

    Further, Monty didn’t leave it an academic mess, it’s been completely 100% misreported. The APR this year will probably be 1000. The facts are that Braun left it a complete mess and it’s taken years to fix it. Monty graduates sniped from another site:

    2014 – Cobbs, Powers, Solomon (will all graduate)
    2013 – Bak Bak, B. Smith, Thurman, Kamp (reportedly mid-year)
    2012 – Gutierrez
    2011 – Sanders-Frison
    2010 – Boykin, Christopher, Knezivic, Randle, Robertson

    Someone said “one” on another thread…hardly, including 7 in the last 2 years alone. The only one I’m not 100% sure about is Christopher. As for the current team, completely on track to graduate anyone who is not going pro before they finish (i.e. Bird).

    I think it’s gonna be DeCuire and he will likely do just fine. There aren’t any other viable candidates that want to be at Cal right now. It’s not just who wants to be here, it’s who is available to move and who is the best fit, and clearly that is also not just on Barbour by most accounts.

  • Steve Fischer

    goBears- you quickly forget that several of those years were considered by most the worst years of the Pac12. We weren’t even ranked as a major conference. UCLA Arizona and others were going through transistion. Now as the Pac12 is back to full strength, we have sunk to the middle or right below the middle of the conference. We won’t be much better next year. Monty left us -not in horrible shape but nothing to write home about either.

    This reminds me of when I wanted Braun out, people would post what a fine record *vs cupcakes ) he had.

    Had Monty left us in great shape with super prospects coming in – then many more coaches want to coach here.

  • GoBears49

    I agree that the Pac-12 recently has had some down years. Yet I’m sure the NCAA selection committee took that into account in making their selections and Cal was selected to play in the dance four out of six years he was at Cal. Again, I predict that, six years from now, we will wish the prior six years were nearly as good, in terms of Cal getting into the NCAA’s, as what Monty accomplished. We will then be yearning for the good old “Monty days.”

  • Wehofx

    GB49, as usual, I agree w you.

    Facts steveTx will doubtless ignore:

    2010 Monty lead us to first PAC championship in 50+ years.

    Yes, in 2010 only 2 PAC teams got invites: Cal and udub.

    Cal beat Louisville then lost to eventual touny CHAMPION Duke.

    Udub made it to 16. They lost to w va – a final 4 team.

  • Wehofx

    …and I’m pretty sure early bb signing period start around tax day, ie this coming week.

    If I’m right, SB better hire someone soon, as in this week.

  • Steve Fischer

    You seem to ignore 1. that Monty did well when the Pac 12 leaders were down. Now that they are up to snuff we are in the middle of the pack at best.
    2. That was years ago- we have gone downhill since then
    3. He left the program in poor enough shape that coaches aren’t dying to come to us.

    Using your logic why not hire Tedford back? Tedford had us close to number one for a while?

  • Wehofx

    As usual, you ignore the FACTS:

    Your #1: “Pac leaders were down.” The “leaders” in 2010 being Cal and udub. then explain how well our Bears and udub did in the 2010 tourny?

    More your #1 “…now (Pac) up to snuff we are in the middle of the pack at best.”

    Last year – as in 2013 – we won last 7 of 8 and beat UNLV in the first round of the tourny. I would make the case that we played cuse the toughest of any other team in the tourny w exception of eventual Final 4 Team Michigan.

    Your #2 “That was years ago.” Another example of your usual incoherence and self contradiction. Your #1 “Monty did that when Pac leaders were down.” Ie, 2010? Wasn’t that the pac’s “down” years to which YOU refer?

    In my most I wrote, “yes, 2010 only 2 pac teams got invites: Cal and udub.” Again, your inability to read, comprehend and remember.

    Can you say complete absence of critical thinking?

    Your #3: I’m not sure why we’re having such problems hiring a new coach. Like many have said, I think SB bears some responsibility.

    Again, like others have said, I think it’s also the facility wars, ie we don’t have a dedicated practice facility – which I find kinda BS but it’s the nature of hoops today w club teams turning out entitled Hoops Princes.

    Your last graph, “Using your logic why not hire jt?” I have no idea how you can ask that question based on my post. Unless you’re ref to GB49’s post with which I agreed.

    Again, you doubtless did not read, comprehend or remember GB49’s post esp second half of his first graph or the second graph. He points out troubling trends for Cal hoops with which I agree.

    Since you mention JT:
    Jt’s last 3 years: 5-7, 7-6, 3-9.

    How that is even vaguely analogous to Monty’s record is beyond me. Unless you’re grabbing at some lame /sophomoric rhetorical device.

    Here’s some more FACTS you can ignore:
    Monty’s last 3 years:
    2012 24 – 10
    2013 21 – 12
    2014 21 – 14 (and yes, this year was a bad 20 win season. I still haven’t played the dvr of the nit but it sounds like our Bears finished strong. Finally.

  • GoBears49

    And Cal would have made the Duke game interesting if Christopher hadn’t been poked in the eye at the beginning of that game, making him fairly useless after that.

  • sunshipballoons

    Musselman is an obnoxious screamer. Cal doesn’t need that kind of coach. Actually, nobody does.

  • Steve Fischer

    We can argue about Monty forever but he left us out of the tourney, missed out on top California recruits and, and we are not in good shape for next years top recruits even the ones from California , even the one from Oakland. This is why no one decent seems to want to the job, that would be different if we had a great class coming in. Whether its Tedford or any of a thousand sports figures and coaches who had soem godo years and then flopped- I don’t want them.
    I am perfectly happy forgetting about last year’s coach and moving on. The rest of us should to.

  • BlakeStreetBear


  • 1brsfan

    Welcome Cuonzo!

  • Eric

    Rumor mill – supposedly Barbour recommended decuire and the chancellor said no. From a source that I trust.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    I would have been happy with Travis, but Cuonzo is a nice surprise for a change. I’d say, if not a homer, the ath dept hit a triple with this hire…and I expect another recruit to follow soon…Go Bears!!!

  • Wehofx

    Wow! Welcome Cuonzo!

    Guess the Ath dept was dealing out some serious disinformation. We got trolled!

    First Big Test: win over the Freshmen. Will tell us a lot about Coach Martin.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    The way his team played down the stretch this year there is no doubt in my mind that this guy can motivate and that his teams will ALWAYS show up. Cuonzo was the Jorge of his purdue teams, defense first. He has NBA experience as a player – I think recruits will like that. Oh, and he’s 45% career from 3, so he can still light up a gym and show the young guys how its done. Go Bears!

  • Peter C.

    They already got a verbal from the big seven-footer from the UK that was committed to UT.