After what can only be described as a tumultuous last three months, California head men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin and the University of California have officially signed a contract, following the conclusion of a review of the actions taken by Cal Athletics in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against an assistant coach. The review found that Cal Athletics employees (including Martin and athletic director Mike Williams) responded "appropriately and promptly to the complaint in alignment with UC policy requirements."
Sources with knowledge of the situation have told BearTerritory that the contract between Martin and the University was initially held up by the initial announcement of the allegations against former assistant coach Yann Hufnagel, and the subsequent review.
Martin -- who guided the Bears to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2013 this season -- had coached the last two seasons under the original terms sheet he signed with the University in April of 2014. Standard coaching contracts at Cal are for five years, and it's believed that this contract will be retroactive to when he initially signed, meaning there are three years left.
“We are pleased to announce that we have agreed to a contract with Coach Martin to continue to lead our men’s basketball program,” Williams said. “Cuonzo has demonstrated that he is an educator, first and foremost, and cares deeply about developing young people into responsible and productive adults. Not only have we seen outstanding results on the court, his teams have shown a deep commitment to their work in the classroom. We couldn’t be happier with the trajectory of the program.”
The average annual compensation is $1.64 million per year plus signing and retention bonuses. In addition, the contract contains several potential academic-based and performance-based bonuses.
Under Martin, Cal has upped it's one-year Academic Progress Rating to a perfect 1000, went undefeated at Haas Pavilion for the first time since the 1959-60 season (when it was called Harmon Gym), brought in a top-10 recruiting class last spring in Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb, and made the NCAA Tournament. Brown will likely be a top-five pick in the NBA Draft on June 23, while Rabb has announced that he intends to return for his sophomore season. Rabb will appear tonight on the Pac-12 Networks at 9 p.m. on the Pac-12 Sports Report to discuss that decision.
Brown was voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American, and Rabb -- who announced he will return for his sophomore season -- was named second-team All-Pac-12 in 2016.
The Bears started the 2015-16 season ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation in multiple polls, but fell out during a mid-season swoon. Cal then re-surfaced in the polls in early March by going undefeated in February.
Martin, 44, has gone 41-26 as Cal's head coach, with a 19-17 record in the Pac-12. He came to Berkeley on April 15, 2014, to succeed Mike Montgomery, after three seasons coaching Tennessee -- including a Sweet 16 appearance -- and three seasons as the head coach at Missouri State. The Purdue alumnus has reached a postseason tournament in six of his eight seasons as a collegiate head coach.
Martin's first two years in Berkeley have seen quite a turnaround, both on the court and off, particularly in recruiting, but the last three months have been a whirlwind.
Before Cal's first-round exit from the Tournament this season, the school announced it was beginning termination proceedings involving assistant Yann Hufnagel due to allegations of sexual harassment. Shortly thereafter, the University announced it was reviewing the conduct of Martin, Williams and others in regards to the reporting of the allegations. A written complaint by a female reporter against Hufnagel was e-mailed to Martin on July 5, and by July 7, the complaint had moved up through the proper channels.
After those pieces of news broke, it was announced that senior point guard Tyrone Wallace had re-broken his hand, just before the first game of the Tournament against Hawaii. After wing Jabari Bird went down with back spasms 10 minutes before tip, the Bears were upset by the Warriors.
After the end of the season, signee Tyson Jolly requested and was granted his release, ostensibly due to the Hufnagel situation. Soon thereafter, Martin received a vote of support from the Cal fan base, when a petition circulated, demanding that he be cleared of wrongdoing and that his contract be signed by University officials. That petition was signed by 1,334 members of the Cal community, as of 1:20 p.m. on Monday.
In April, Cal signed JuCo point guard Dontae Coleman, the APR jump was announced, Cal inked a massive deal with Under Armour (which has some recruiting impact), Brown declared for the NBA Draft, Rabb decided to stay, the Bears landed coveted Columbia transfer Grant Mullins, former Stanford assistant Tim O'Toole was hired to replace Hufnagel.
To top that, in May, Martin signed four-star point guard Charlie Moore, who had been recruited by the Bears for quite some time before he signed with Memphis, and who subsequently got out of his letter of intent with the Tigers following a coaching change.
Since then, though, the Bears have had guard Jordan Mathews declare his intention to graduate and transfer, perhaps clearing the way for Kentucky transfer Marcus Lee -- a former five-star prospect -- though Lee has also made a visit to Washington, and has yet to comment on his future destination.