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March 31, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Mike Montgomery leaving California

Mike Montgomery retired after six seasons at California. (Photo credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports)

Mike Montgomery retired after six seasons at California. (Photo credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports)

California coach Mike Montgomery announced his retirement.

The 67-year-old coach told the Golden Bears players and the school’s administration Monday. He’s scheduled to meet with the media at a 2:30 p.m. press conference that will be carried live by Pac-12.com.

In a statement released by California, Montgomery said: “I have enjoyed 45 years coaching the game I love while developing long-lasting friendships along the way. This is a decision that was not made lightly. This is the right time for me to move to the next phase of my life.

“The six years I have spent at Cal have been some of the greatest in my career. This is a great program and Cal basketball is positioned for success for many years to come.”

Montgomery, who had two years left on his contract, was one of the most successful coaches in college basketball history and a coaching icon in the Pac-12.

In a statement released by the school athletic director Sandy Barbour said: “Mike has been outstanding in his six years at the helm of our men’s basketball program. In addition to being one of the greatest to ever coach the game, he has been an amazing leader, educator and mentor to our student-athletes and all the young men he has coached.

“We are thankful for all he has done to elevate this program during his tenure.”

Montgomery was 130-73 at Cal, which included four NCAA tournament appearances.

He started his coaching career at Montana in 1978. In eight seasons (1978-86) with the Grizzlies, he compiled a 154-77 record.

Montgomery had his greatest success during an incredible 18-year run (1986-04) at Stanford where he had a 393-167 record that included 12 NCAA tournament appearances, a 1998 Final Four and a 2001 Elite Eight appearance.

Montgomery retires with a 677-316 record and just one losing season during a 32-year college coaching career.

He ranks third Cal’s all-time wins list. He also retires with the third-most conference wins in Pac-12 history with 282 and ranks 25th on the NCAA’s all-time list for career victories.

Between stints at Stanford and Cal, Montgomery spent two years (2004-06) with the NBA’s Golden State where he was 34-48.

The past three seasons have been somewhat tumultuous. In October 2011, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer and underwent successful surgery that left him cancer-free.

In February 2013, Montgomery was publicly reprimanded by the Pac-12 and Cal for shoving star player Allen Crabbe during a heated sideline confrontation during a game.

And this season, Cal started 14-4 and 5-0 Pac-12 before going 7-10 and 5-8 in the Pac-12 the rest of the way. The Bears (21-14, 10-8) missed the NCAA tournament and landed in the National Invitation Tournament where they were eliminated last Wednesday in the quarterfinals.

The Mercury-News comprised a list of possible candidates to replace Montgomery, including Harvard’s Tommy Amaker, Saint Mary’s Randy Bennett, Valparaiso’s Bryce Drew, former UCLA coach Ben Howland, Boise State’s Leon Rice, Dayton’s Archie Miller, Murray State’s Steve Prohm and VCU’s Shaka Smart.

Comments | More in News, Pac-12 news | Topics: California, Mike Montgomery


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