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March 31, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Morning links: California’s Mike Montgomery considering retirement

California's Mike Montgomery, 67, is considering calling it quits. (Photo credit: USA Today Sports)

California’s Mike Montgomery, 67, is considering calling it quits. (Photo credit: USA Today Sports)

According to multiple reports, California coach Mike Montgomery will meet with athletic director Sandy Barbour today to discuss his possible retirement.

Barbour told the Mercury-News she would try and talk him out of retirement. “Mike Montgomery is a phenomenal coach and I’m glad he’s ours,” she told the newspaper.

Montgomery, 67, coached at Montana (154-77), Stanford (393-167) and California (130-73) during a 32-year Hall of Fame career that included just one losing season. He’s won 677 games in Division I. After a three-year stint with the Golden State Warriors (2004-06) produced a 68-96 record, Montgomery returned to the Pac-12 and the Bay Area and landed at Cal in 2008. In the past six seasons with the Golden Bears, he’s led them to four NCAA tournament appearances.

Cal had a disappointing run this season. The Bears finished 21-14, 10-8 Pac-12. Their season ended last Wednesday at SMU in the National Invitational Tournament quarterfinals.

Montgomery, 67, is a cancer survivor. He went through bladder cancer surgery in 2011.

In July 2012, Montgomery signed a two-year extension through the 2015-16 season.

ESPN reported that Cal is preparing for the possibility of Montgomery retiring and has retained a search firm to explore possible successors.

ESPN’s Andy Katz said if Montgomery leaves, Cal will look to hire Gonzaga’s Mark Few or Harvard’s Tommy Amaker.

The San Francisco Chronicle said another potential candidate is former UCLA coach Ben Howland.

MONDAY MORNING LINKS:

— Washington State athletic director Bill Moos’ first attempt to replace fired men’s basketball coach Ken Bone was a swing and a miss. According to Bud Withers the Cougars pursued Boise State’s Leon Rice, but he’s going to remain with the Broncos. Moos gave himself an April 7 deadline to fill the position.

— Arizona’s Aaron Gordon, Nick Johnson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Kaleb Tarczewski will have a big decision to make. Each could leave school early and apply for the NBA draft.

— Arizona Daily Star columnist Greg Hansen offers a few parting shots after Arizona’s loss to Wisconsin in the NCAA Elite Eight.

— After a run to the Sweet 16, it may be difficult for UCLA to improve next season.

— The Daily Camera’s Brian Howell wraps up Colorado’s season and hands out mostly passing grades to Buffaloes team that advanced to the NCAA tournament and won 23 games, the third most in school history.

— Johnson earned second-team Associated Press All-America honors and UCLA sophomore guard Kyle Anderson was voted to the third team.

— Johnson was also named to the 10-player John R. Wooden All-America team.

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