Mike Montgomery retired on Monday. It was about thirty-two years after he began and in that span, only once (once) did a team he coached lose more games than they won.
Mike Montgomery is a winner. But you don’t need someone who never played for him and who spent most of his adolescence rooting against his best teams to tell you that. There’s a multitude of others willing to tell you that at the drop of a hat. I read tweets from Stanford Basketball and Cal administrators and reporters and Mark Madsen and the rest of the universe.
He had one losing season in his entire career.
He was (is?) the Pac-12 basketball ambassador. He leaves as a retread returns but Ernie Kent can’t and won’t hold a candle to what Montgomery accomplished in the basketball universe. And that’s not a knock on Kent. Perhaps the contrary. Montgomery leaves as the third most successful Pac-10ish coach of All-Time (behind just Olson and Wooden, good company). In just six seasons he’s Cal’s third winningest coach. He notched a Final Four, an impeccable air on nonchalance, and some of my favorite court-side manor:
Love Monty pic.twitter.com/WKLrnACB99
— Adam Butler (@pachoopsab) March 9, 2014
Furthermore, he’s accomplished the greatest Cal troll job of All-Time. Every UC-Berkeley outlet has had to gush and effuse about the man’s career and, in doing such, has been forced to be highly complimentary of Stanford. Well played, Mr. Montgomery.
And did I mention he only ever had one losing season amongst thirty-two seasons? I did so I should tell you at least a little bit about it. The 1992-93 Stanford Cardinal. Consequently, it was the last time he wouldn’t participate in a post-season tournament. They beat only USC and Oregon in conference play and were led, in scoring, by Brent Williams. According to a LinkedIn search, Brent is now in either wealth management in Seattle or software development in the Bay Area. Your 92-93 Cardinal, folks.
But because this is March and emotions run high. Because we’ve already covered the McDermott story and the Bo Ryan story, I’ll close with the fact that he’s coached with his son, John, for the last six years. That’s something special. We both know it. I don’t know what’s next for either of these men but I know they’ve come to end of an exciting, unique, and bonding road.
It’s been a dream come true to work for my dad the past 6 years! I will forever cherish the opportunity and never forget the memories #Cal
— John Montgomery (@JohnMontyCal) March 31, 2014
I mean, every damn time this stuff gets me.
Congratulations to Mike Montgomery on a career well led.
One thought on “Mike Montgomery Had One Losing Season. Ever.”
Great post, Adam. I am so glad he got to go out on his own terms. It was interesting how emphatically he endorsed lead assistant Travis DeCuire as his replacement. I do think youth and energy are important components for Cal’s next hire, and if he has Monty’s endorsement I am willing to give DeCuire a shot, albeit with maybe a shorter leash than someone more established. Seeing as how Monty was clearly not “forced” out, I think an argument can be made that some amount of continuity is a good thing. The ending of this season was a disappointment (at least until the NIT, which offered a glimmer of hope—Bird related, mostly), but I definitely don’t see this as a “blow it up and start over” situation. I must admit, I will feel a little uneasy until the position is filled and all recruiting/transfer decisions are finalized!