On Wednesday, Wyking Jones was formally introduced as the next head coach of Cal men’s basketball. Below are key quotes and a full video of his press conference.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have Wyking lead our program. His proven ability to teach and relate to student-athletes, his thorough understanding of our culture, how to succeed at Cal, and his vision for the future of our program really set him apart from all the other candidates. With the foundation we have, I truly believe that he will go far in leading us to this future.”-Cal AD Mike Williams on ushering in the Wyking Jones era.
“Ultimately, it came back to where we started and found what we wanted right here in Berkeley.”-Mike Williams on the results of their head coaching search.
“For us, in order to preserve the integrity of the search, we did not share information about our search and we did not address the speculation.”-Mike Williams on the rumors that surrounded the coaching search.
"Wyking Jones clearly emerged as our best candidate and to him, we made our one and only offer for the position. No one we talked to had a more comprehensive plan for the future of Cal basketball than Wyking. How we’re going to play, how we’re going to recruit, the structure of the program both in season and out of season, respect for the faculty and the Berkeley campus, and an academic plan."- Mike Williams.
“Over the two years that he has been at Berkeley, we’ve seen first hand that Wyking can coach, he can teach, and he can be a leader of young men.”-Mike Williams on Wyking Jones’ qualifications.
“The smiles on their faces, the high-fives, the hugs, meant so much to me…Just the sheer joy in their voices over the phone for me to be their coach. Kingsley Okoroh, he was talking so fast with that British accent I had no idea what he was saying. I just knew he was excited that I was his coach. That meant so much to me.”-Wyking Jones on players’ reactions to him becoming head coach.
“Coach Pitino, in the four years that I was with him we did Final Four, National Championship, Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight. Won a lot of games. He’s my biggest influence as a coach. He wasn’t always easy, but he taught me more than anyone else about this game and how to be successful and how to win.”-Wyking Jones on Rick Pitino.
“To Cuonzo Martin, who brought me home and gave me the blueprint to what it is to be successful and how to be successful here at Cal, I studied how he moved, how he treated our guys with respect, how he treated our staff with respect, thank you so much. Thank you for the team that you left me because they are not only great basketball players, they’re great young men and to me that’s the most important thing.”-Wyking Jones on Cuonzo Martin.
“I was born in Inglewood, California. Born and raised like I said in the 80s. It was a tough place. A lot of gangs, drugs, the whole deal. But my love for this game kept me focused.”-Wyking Jones on the impact that basketball has had on his life.
“Coach [Lou Campanelli], he says ‘Wyking, we’re going to bring you on campus.’ I was like ‘man, I’d love to come on campus.’ So we scheduled a visit. An official visit…If I go on this visit, I’m probably going to be a Cal Bears before it’s all said and done. Three days before my visit, ‘Wyking, I got bad news for you. Monty Buckley took your scholarship.’ Monty if you’re out there watching, I no longer hold that grudge against you.”-Wyking Jones on being recruited by Cal out of high school.
“My core values: Seize the day, make the most every single day. Be the best person, the best student, the best athlete that you can be. Don’t let a day go by wasted. That’s what we teach our guys here.”-Wyking Jones.
“Play for the name on the front. The University of California. If you do that and you dedicate yourself to what’s on the front and that’s what’s most important, the back will be rewarded.”-Wyking Jones.
“In the last two years, we’ve been the number one defensive team in the Pac-12. We will continue to do that. To me, defense is the foundation for winning. Now, it’s going to look a little different. You’re going to see more pressing. You’re going to see more changing of defense. You’re going to see more half-court traps. You’re going to see us be a lot more aggressive on the defensive end.”-Wyking Jones on his defensive philosophy.
“On the offensive end, you’ll see us push the tempo. You’re going to see us getting in to scoring, motion, a little bit earlier in the shot clock. Now if we’re going to play that style, I’ve already informed my guys strength and conditioning is going to be of the utmost importance…We’re going to be the best conditioned team in the Pac-12.”-Wyking Jones on his offensive philosophy.
“I want to have an open door policy. Maybe put some snacks or something in the office, because I want them to come in there. I’m going to have an unbelievable staff, so I want to sit down and just talk to them and see how they’re doing on a day-to-day basis outside of basketball. That’s important to me.”-Wyking Jones on continuing to have a family atmosphere.
“Tim, thank you man for your loyalty to me, your loyalty to this university, and your loyalty to our basketball program…I have not met a coach with the amount of energy and passion for this game as Tim O’Toole. Bordering, sometimes I think there’s something wrong with him. Like, three minutes into practice and the dude is in a full sweat!”-Wyking Jones on Tim O’Toole.
“We didn’t use a search firm, we had all the information that we think we needed.”-Mike Williams on the process of finding a head coach.
“We have a very solid foundation. We got that from Coach Montgomery and from Coach Martin, and I really feel that we can continue to build on that and that Wyking is the coach to do that.”-Mike Williams on continuing to build on past success.
“I think our home court environment is a tremendous environment.”-Mike Williams on Haas Pavilion.
“I think his overall game plan, where switching defenses, confusing the offense, putting a lot of pressure on the other teams’ point guard to come down the court and he’s got to figure out is he getting pressed, are they in zone, are they in man? So I think the overall game plan really sets him apart from a lot of other coaches…In game, for a coach that’s what’s most important. That you can make in game adjustments to what’s going on out there and I just felt like he was really good at that.”-Wyking Jones on Rick Pitino.
“I envisioned this day, I didn’t envision it would happen so soon…My wife, four generations of Berkeley grads, so this is home for us.”-Wyking Jones on reaching his goal of becoming a head coach.
“We’ll start next week…It’ll just be something that we do every day.”-Wyking Jones on when his team will start the matchup zone that Louisville uses.
“I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t think the transition is going to be, I’ve learned from such great coaches and I’ve studied them all. I don’t anticipate it being as much of a challenge as you may think because every guy that I’ve worked for has been successful. I’m going to steal a little bit from this coach, I’m going to steal a little bit from this coach, steal a lot from this guy, I’m going to steal a little bit from this coach, and that’s the coach that I’m going to be.”-Wyking Jones on adjusting from being an assistant to head coach.
“I worked at Pepperdine for five years and I would say that by year four I knew that it was something that I wanted to have my own program.”-Wyking Jones on when he knew he wanted to become a head coach.
“We need to let our defense manufacture offense for us. So, when I’m envisioning our press, I’m envisioning us turning people over…Letting our defense manufacture the offense for us, what happens is you get a layup, you get a dunk, and then everyone’s confidence just goes up a little bit and it become infectious…The press, it almost becomes part of your offense and that’s what we’ll do here.”-Wyking Jones on his offensive philosophy and what will be different.
“For their reaction to be what it was, it was validation for me that they appreciate me.”-Wyking Jones on how much it meant for his players to want him to be their head coach.
“I would say that within the next two weeks we should be full staffed.”-Wyking Jones on a timeline to have his staff rounded out.