April 5, 2008
University of California Director of Athletics introduced Cal's new head men's basketball coach on Saturday morning at the Hall of Fame Room at Memorial Stadium.
"I want to thank some people that are not here. I would like to thank Chancellor Robert Birgeneau for his assistance and support in this process and his incredible support of our athletic pursuits, and certainly the excellence that we are signaling today. I would also like to thank Chancellor Nathan Brostrom who oversees athletics on a day-to-day basis on this campus, and who has been a huge, huge part of this process. Also, I would like to thank our Faculty Athletic Representative Jesse Choper and finally the staff of intercollegiate athletics. These searches also take funny turns. They are always pretty intense and pressure packed. This team stood up straight and accepted the challenge, and I think you will see here today, really hit a home run.
"I would also like to thank our men's basketball program and student-athletes, some of whom are here today. They too have been through a lot these last nine or 10 days, and they too have stood up straight and taken it head on, and I appreciate their efforts and approach very much.
"The man we are introducing this morning as our head men's basketball coach really needs no introduction. This region is quite familiar with him and the basketball world is certainly familiar with him. Certainly the Cal family is quite acquainted with his experience, skills and talents. Much will be said with his longstanding ties with our rival Stanford. Frankly, I am far more concerned with the fact that his daughter played volleyball at USC than I am him having a minor affiliation with that school across the Bay. The numbers speak for themselves: 547 wins, 12 NCAA berths, including 10 consecutive appearances, a Final Four, a multiple winner of Pac-10 and National Coach of the Year, NBA experience, USA national basketball experience, All-Americans, Academic All-Americans, NBA products, the list goes on.
"But it is both the quantifiable proof that the man is a winner as well as the less tangible qualities that the man is a leader, a teacher, an educator, a husband, a father, a collaborator, a mentor and a colleague that really tells a story of why Mike will be such an exceptional fit at Cal and why he will bring the outrageous success back to Cal that I talked about last week.
"At Cal, we talk about athletics done right. That's athletic success, academic diligence, community engagement and being good stewards of our fiscal resources - all four every day and every year. Mike Montgomery is the right man at the right time for Cal. He is energized for this challenge, and he is passionate about the task ahead."