Cal Basketball Video: Mark Fox Talks About His Coaching Influences

Jeff Faraudo

New Cal coach Mark Fox, who played college ball at Eastern New Mexico, says the players he recruits to Berkeley will be much better than he ever was

“We don’t want guys like me on Newell court. I was an average player," Fox said. "I knew early in my life I’m not going to be a professional player. All I ever wanted to do was coach.”

Fox grew up in the small Kansas town of Garden City, where his late father, Ray, coached high school basketball (at one point dueling future Purdue coach Gene Keady).

Fox said by age 10 or 11 he had ambitions to coach.

“It’s a basketball state," he said, referring to the influence of coaching legends Dean Smith and Eddie Sutton, both Kansas natives. "It’s something I fell in love with early.”

(Click here for a story on Mark Fox's introductory press conference.)

Fox developed a reputation at Georgia as a defensive coach, but his teams at Nevada were a bit more wide open.

“If you were playing Kentucky, you didn’t want to get want to get into a track meet. The great Kentucky teams had an NBA All-Star team," he reasoned. "It really comes down to the talent you have on your roster and the team that you have.

"We have to find a formula for this team. I don’t know that formula yet. I haven’t been in the gym with them. We need to get there and start figuring out what to do.”

(Click here for a reaction by guard Paris Austin.)

Fox said no decision has been made on the status of sophomore shooting guard Darius McNeill, who last week announced he would transfer.

“I haven’t met with him individually so it’s not fair to speak on that," Fox said. "That has nothing to do with me. Their world was turned upside down. I can’t be upset that they had those thoughts.”

(Click here for a video of Fox's emphasis on defense.)