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BREAKING: Cuonzo Martin resigns, likely to accept head coaching job at Missouri

Well, that was quick.

NCAA Basketball: California at Stanford John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Just a day after Cal basketball’s early exit from the NIT, the Bears have lost their head coach. Cuonzo Martin has told his team that he is taking another head coaching job, according to Evan Daniels of Scout, then officially resigned earlier. Wyking Jones is the interim head coach.

Along with our own source, we can all but confirm that Cuonzo Martin has accepted a contract worth $3.5 million per season from the University of Missouri. Rumors had already been swirling that the University of Illinois had interest in his services. Martin hails from East St. Louis, Illinois.

Martin, who is 45 years of age, compiled a 62-39 record at Cal. His contract was set to run through 2018-19 with total pay of $1.84 million annually. The contract’s buyout is said to be $1.2 million.

Who will coach the Bears next? There is some speculation that Nevada head coach Eric Musselman is a candidate, but it’s much too soon to know.

Cuonzo Martin, who led California’s men’s basketball for the past three seasons, has resigned as head coach, Director of Athletics Mike Williams announced Wednesday.

Martin has stepped down in order to pursue other opportunities. Assistant coach Wyking Jones will serve as interim head coach.

“Cuonzo Martin informed me this morning that he is resigning to accept a position at another school. 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. “We appreciate all that Cuonzo has done with our men’s basketball program over the past three seasons, creating excitement inside Haas Pavilion, guiding our team to a pair of postseason appearances and improving the academic performance of our student-athletes.”

In his three seasons at Cal, Martin amassed a 62-39 overall record, and 29-25 record in the Pac-12. Most recently, the Bears wrapped up a 21-13 season, tied for fifth in the league and reached the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal before earning a No. 1 seed in the National Invitation Tournament. Cal’s season ended Tuesday evening with a 73-66 loss to CSU Bakersfield in the first round of the NIT.

Martin earned one NCAA Tournament berth and one NIT berth in his three years at the helm, and secured one of the nation’s top recruiting classes in 2015-16, bringing in eventual No. 3 NBA Draft pick Jaylen Brown as well as two-time All-Pac-12 selection Ivan Rabb.