clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Who are the top candidates to fill California’s head coaching vacancy?

We take a look at a few names that are being floated for the head coaching job at Cal.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament - First Round - Denver Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The coaching carousel is spinning in college basketball as the offseason is well underway for most teams. Many programs made coaching changes immediately following the close of their respective seasons and while some have already filled those vacancies, others are still searching for their next head coach.

One of those programs is Cal, who fired head coach Mark Fox after an atrocious 3-29 campaign. The Golden Bears barely beat out Louisville as the worst power conference team in the country this season and are currently searching for a new leader that can revive a Pac-12 program that has fallen into the abyss.

Below, we’ll take a look at a few potential candidates who could be pacing the sidelines of Haas Pavilion next season.

Joe Pasternack, UC Santa Barbara

Even before Fox was officially let go by Cal on March 9, Joe Pasternack was being identified as a potential replacement. A former Cal assistant in the 2000’s under Ben Braun, he got his first taste of head coaching experience during a four-year run at New Orleans before heading back west to become an associate head coach at Arizona.

Taking over at UC Santa Barbara in 2017, he began making a name for himself as a mid-major head coach on the rise. Pasternack has posted a 132-53 record in six seasons with the Gauchos, a run that has included two trips to the NCAA Tournament. With extensive experience coaching in the Pac-12 and recruiting in California, it would make sense for Cal to tap one of its former assistants to come back and rejuvenate the program.

Tim Miles, San Jose State

Along with Pasternack, San Jose State head coach Tim Miles is a name that has been brought up as a potential replacement for Mark Fox in Berkeley, CA.

With nearly three decades of head coaching experience, Miles has specialized in fixing up programs that have struggled mightily. After a successful six-year stint at North Dakota State, he managed to take both Colorado State and Nebraska to the NCAA Tournament in his respective tenures there. Taking over at San Jose State in 2021, he posted an eight-win campaign in his first season before dramatically turning things around with a 21-win campaign this year where the Spartans made it to the CBI quarterfinals. Cal wouldn’t have to look far to find someone like Miles who could get them trending back into the right direction.

Amir Abdur-Rahim, Kennesaw State

A name that has emerged around the Cal coaching searching search is Kennesaw State’s Amir Abdur-Rahim, who got an endorsement by Boston Celtics star and Cal alum Jaylen Brown.

Brother of NBA G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Amir served as an assistant coach at programs like Texas A&M and Georgia before accepting the Kennesaw State job in 2019. Taking over a program that had never experienced a winning season in Division I, he won a combined six games in his first two years before improving with a 13-18 mark during the 2021-22 campaign. It was of course this season where the Owls broke out, winning the ASUN Tournament to earn their first trip to the NCAA Tournament. They then threatened to pull a major first-round upset over Xavier before eventually fading in the final minutes.

Recent reports have indicated that Abdur-Rahim did interview for the Cal job, but is not considered as a serious candidate. Still, keep your eye on him in case the Golden Bears decide to go outside the box and hire him.