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Roundtables: Search Firm and Series of Events

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A series of (un)fortunate events.

NCAA Football: North Carolina at California Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

What are your thoughts on the hiring process and the names that were floated prior to to the hiring?

Nik Jam: I can’t pretend I know what was going on with the hiring process but I agree with conventional wisdom that the hiring process was rushed. I get that the program is short on cash and couldn’t afford a splashy hire but the ex-coaches and ex-players were asking for DeCuire. He agreed to an extension at Montana which may have been a way of saying he wasn’t interested in moving to Cal (But if that were the case, wouldn’t he have told Mike Montgomery to not waste his time with an endorsement?) but it could have still been outbid by Cal Athletics. I hope these concerns are answered during the Monday press conference.

Joshua.Morgan: This was maybe my biggest problem with the hire. Fox is the type of guy that if you swing and miss on a bunch of other candidates, you would be fine ending up with. Fox is the type of guy that you may end up liking over the other candidates after a lengthy search. However, Fox is not the type of guy that you jump at immediately in the coaching search. There were many more exciting names that Cal should have pursued first, and if those didn’t end up working, then Fox would have made a bit more sense.

boomtho: This is something a lot of CGB commenters pretty astutely pointed out as soon as the hire was announced. Knowlton seemed to move really fast without a ton of clear direction - one day we were retaining Wyking, the next day (after a near-player mutiny!) we fired him, a few days later we hired a search firm and very shortly after that Fox was hired. How exhaustive a search was conducted? While I definitely believe top-tier candidates wouldn’t want to come to Cal, were folks like Randy Benett contacted to gauge interest?

On the names that were floated: I will fully admit I wasn’t in love with any of them. I would have preferred DeCuire, and to me it’s not a great sign if we (a) didn’t contact and go through a prcess with him or (b) couldn’t convince him Cal was a step up from Montanta. Beyond him, though, I don’t think anyone else had a greater chance of competing in the short term than Fox.

thedozen: I know that she was a long shot to go anywhere in Division I, but I have heard a lot of positive things about Becky Hammon and even mere speculation about her coaching the Bears intrigued me.

Ruey Yen: LOL at the thought of Jason Kidd actually becoming the new Cal head coach. Kidd is a great player and may eventually be a decent NBA head coach, but the college head coach job has so much other responsibilities that I don’t see Kidd embracing. Still, that was a fun connection that probably got more discussion about Cal in the mainstream sports media.

Rob Hwang: The only issue I have here is the timeline of interviewing candidates. If we’re going by all the series of events that transpired, that gave Knowlton just Monday-Thursday to interview candidates. I can’t imagine that you or the search firm could vet through that many candidates in that short period of time. Either Fox was the candidate from the beginning or Knowlton took on the search firm’s advice and did not have a list in mind. That’s my analysis of the series of events.