GoldenBearReport.com has learned that Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin will be named Cal's new head coach. An announcement is expected this afternoon.
According to sources, Tennessee players were informed of Martin's departure this morning, Cal players were to be informed at 10:30 a.m. by athletic director Sandy Barbour along with Martin, who is currently in Berkeley.
In three years at Tennessee, Martin has gone 63-41 with two trips to the NIT and a Sweet Sixteen run this season despite having to win a play-in game to even make the tourney. Martin logged upset victories over three top-25 opponents in his first two seasons, and led the Big Orange to at least one win over every SEC school during those years -- Kentucky was the only other league team to accomplish that feat during that span.
He also has quite the story personally: Martin was brought from a single-parent home in the drug-ravaged streets of East St. Louis, Ill., to the hardwood at Purdue University -- where he earned a degree and paved his way into the NBA -- to the top echelon of the college basketball coaching ranks. Along the way he also overcame Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma -- he received his last treatment on April 20, 1998, and is now in full remission.
As a player at Purdue, Cuonzo Martin averaged 18.4 points per game as senior and led the Boilermakers to the second of three consecutive Big Ten championships.
His mentor: Purdue legend Gene Keady, was a six-time National Coach of the Year and is the second-winningest coach in Big Ten history.
The Atlanta Hawks made Martin the 57th overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft, and he played professional basketball for four years, including NBA stints with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Vancouver Grizzlies.
Prior to Tennessee, Martin served a three-year stint as the head coach at Missouri State from 2009-11. In his final season in Springfield, Mo., Martin became the program's first-ever Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year and led the Bears to their first-ever regular season MVC championship. That team posted a 26-9 overall record, and its 15-3 mark in MVC games set a school record for conference wins in a season.
From 2000-08, Martin served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, working side-by-side with Keady, Painter and Paul Lusk. During that span, the Boilermakers made three NCAA Tournament appearances while producing three All-Big Ten selections and three Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honorees.
Martin was instrumental in recruiting several Boilermaker greats, including Hummel, JaJuan Johnson, Carl Landry and E'Twaun Moore. Purdue's 2006 signing class was rated among the top five nationally and was universally considered as the best in the Big Ten, and in September 2007, Martin was promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach.