NewsLocal News


Sources: Cal Poly hires new head men’s basketball coach

Posted at 11:29 AM, Mar 27, 2019

A wild week of speculation now appears to be over as a new head men’s basketball coach has reportedly been hired at Cal Poly.

Multiple sources tell KSBY News John Smith will take over the program after Joe Callero was fired earlier this month after the Mustangs wrapped up a sixth straight losing season (6-23, 2-14).

John Smith Courtesy: Cal State Fullerton

Currently the associate head coach at Cal State Fullerton, Smith has spent six seasons with the Titans.

Prior to joining the team at Fullerton, Smith was the head coach at Riverside City College where he compiled the second-highest win total in school history with a 196-87 overall record, according to the school’s website.

The Tigers, under Smith’s direction, earned four conference championships, nine postseason berths, and the 2009 California state championship.

Prior to RCC, Smith was the head coach and assistant athletic director at San Bernardino Valley College for four years, posting an 88-40 overall state record.

In 2016, Smith was inducted into the California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

College basketball analyst/insider Jeff Goodman (@Stadium) broke the news on Twitter Tuesday morning. KSBY Sports Director Chance Dickman confirmed the appointment Tuesday night.

Sources tell KSBY News there were a number of candidates in the running for the coach’s job.

On March 6, Cal Poly announced it was parting ways with Joe Callero after 10 years with the Mustangs. Callero’s tenure at Cal Poly ended with a record of 126-184.

Callero led Cal Poly to its first, and only, NCAA Tournament appearance in 2014 after guiding the seventh-seeded Mustangs to the Big West Tournament championship. They went on to defeat Texas Southern in a 16-seed play-in game and eventually lost to top-seeded Wichita State in the first round.

We’ve reached out to Cal Poly Athletics for comment on Smith but haven’t received official word yet from the University.

Cal Poly will have a news conference with the new coach on Thursday at 4 p.m. in the foyer of the Performing Arts Center.

The general public is invited to attend the official announcement and stay for a meet-and-greet with the new head coach immediately after the news conference.

Free parking is available in the Grand Avenue parking structure.