ST. LOUIS (KMOX) updated at 6:15 p.m.– The University of Missouri has hired East St. Louis High School graduate Cuonzo Martin to take over as head men’s basketball coach.
Martin has coached the University of California Golden Bears for the last three seasons and is 62-39 in that time. In the 2015-16 season, Cal entered the year inside the AP top-25 rankings, but was upset by University of Hawaii in the first round.
Martin has proven his recruiting talents by bringing five-star players like Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb to Cal in 2014. Rabb was a possible NBA Lottery pick last year, but returned for another season at Cal, and Brown was drafted No. 3 overall by the Boston Celtics last year.
Prior to Cal, Martin was a coach at the University of Tennessee for three seasons, and at Missouri State for three years before that.
Martin was born in St. Louis and moved to East St. Louis as a child, and won two Illinois State Championships with Lincoln High School in the late 1980s. He then went to Purdue University where he helped the Boilmakers to back-to-back Big 10 Championships in 1994 and 1995.
“We are thrilled that Cuonzo is returning to the Midwest and that his family will now call Columbia home,” University of Missouri Director of Athletics Jim Sterk said in a news release. “From the outset of our search, our goal was to find a coach who had demonstrated success, academically and on the court, while also sharing our values and who can help to reignite interest in Mizzou Men’s Basketball among our fan base. I believe we found all of that and more with Cuonzo and I look forward to watching him compete for championships and postseason appearances for many years to come.”
Martin will be introduced at a 4 p.m. campus celebration on Monday at Mizzou Arena. Doors open to the general public at 3:30 p.m.