Kelley L. Coz / USA TODAY Sports

Cuonzo Martin leaves California, likely taking the head coaching job at Missouri

California head coach Cuonzo Martin ends a three-year tenure in Berkeley to coach closer to his childhood home, likely taking a hefty pay raise at Missouri.

UPDATED at 1:10 p.m.

California head coach Cuonzo Martin will be leaving Berkeley for another coaching job, with sources saying that it is almost certain he will be leaving for Missouri. Two sources told BearTerritory that Martin resigned this morning, and informed the team. Our national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels reported that Martin told the players he was taking a job at another university. Cal has since issued a release: “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,” athletic director Mike 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.”

Neither Martin nor his agent were immediately available for comment, but Daniels indicated that assistant Wyking Jones would be the interim head coach for the program, as a coaching search gets under way. BearTerritory has confirmed that Jones will be taking over.

As first reported by BearTerritory on our premium message boards one week ago, Mizzou followed through on its intent and offered Martin a $3.5m-per-year deal to become the Tigers' next head coach on Wednesday, and he will almost certainly be taking that offer. Martin grew up in East St. Louis, Ill., 127 miles from Columbia, Mo. Martin was also reportedly a candidate for the job at Illinois., under an extension with the Bears, signed on Oct. 25, was scheduled to make $1.84m per year through the 2020-2021 season. His buy-out is $1.2 million. Reports indicate that Martin's deal with Missouri would be for five or seven years.

In three years at Cal, Martin made the postseason twice, losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in the 2015-16 season, with No. 3 overall NBA Draft pick Jaylen Brown, No. 60 overall draft pick Tyrone Wallace and projected lottery pick Ivan Rabb. Martin lost in the first round of the NIT this year, as the No. 1 seed, to No. 8-seed Cal State Bakersfield, with Rabb (plantar fasciitis) on the bench.

Martin -- who landed both Rabb and Brown -- went 62-39 at Cal, and 28-24 in the Pac-12 during his time at Cal. Before Berkeley, Martin went 63-41 at Tennessee, with one NCAA Tournament bid (finishing in the Sweet Sixteen). Before that, Martin coached three seasons at Missouri State, going 61-41, winning the College Invitational Tournament, and reaching the NIT second round, finishing first in the Missouri Valley Conference in his final season. Top Stories