On Wednesday, March 6, Cal Poly Athletics announced Men’s Basketball head coach Joe Callero will not be retained after 21 losses this season. The decision came in the midst of one of the program’s worst statistical seasons ever.
Following Cal Poly’s final regular-season game of the year against UC Santa Barbara, Callero addressed the media regarding his release for the first time.
“My dream is finally accomplished,” Callero said. “My dream was to coach a Division I team in paradise. I got to live on the Central Coast for 10 years. I got to be at a high academic school with great student-athletes.”
Callero jokingly mentioned his second dream of coaching the Seattle Supersonics, an NBA team that no longer resides in Callero’s home state of Washington. The coach also mentioned running for president in 2020.
“In all seriousness, this has been a dream,” Callero said. “It’s been a dream ride. It’s been a dream place. This has been home for 10 years.”
Callero said he enjoyed all the challenges the program solved throughout the years — from remodeling the court in Mott Athletics Center, to fundraising for new scoreboards.
“The nice part is knowing you did everything you could,” Callero said. “My daughter goes, ‘Dad you worked so hard, you worked your ass off.’ I said, ‘That’s why I’m happy.’ There’s no regrets for anything … Every single day I thought about Cal Poly Basketball and the Central Coast and how to do things the right way from a moral standpoint and an ethical standpoint.”
Callero admitted the program did not win enough games and said he felt the pressure of expectations following Cal Poly’s NCAA Tournament appearance in 2014.
“No regrets, except I wish I would’ve helped win more games,” Callero said “But, the process was sincere, it was daily.”
Callero also pointed out his appreciation for assistant coach Mitch Reaves, who coached with Callero during his entire 10-year span at Cal Poly. As far as his future, Callero said it was time for him to step away from coaching.
“I think this is a great time for me to a better husband and a better father and a better friend,” Callero said. “Provided the Sonics don’t move to Seattle and offer me a job right away, I think I’ll take one full year away from coaching and do a variety of different things that I’ve never done in my life.”
Callero said he wants to do volunteer work with kids who do not have the financial access to camps and clinics.
“Coaching is coaching, and I think that’s the type of stuff that can rejuvenate,” Callero said. “Next year at this time, if I’m not dying to be a head coach or coaching somewhere, that presidential run better work out for me.”