What They're Saying About Cal's Hire of Montgomery
April 5, 2008
"I am thrilled that at the conclusion of a thorough search we have landed an established head coach who has had a proven track record of success at the highest level of college basketball. During his more than 30-year coaching career, Coach Montgomery has demonstrated a clear commitment to development of student-athletes both academically and socially. He has an impeccable reputation in the industry and is recognized as a leader in the men's basketball community."
-Sandy Barbour, Director of Athletics, University of California
"This is a glorious day for the University of California! The Cal athletic revolution is now seven years old and with the addition of Mike Montgomery, it's clear that the era of Golden Bear dominance has begun. No one understands Montgomery's coaching brilliance like Cal fans, who experienced life on the other side far too many times. The sight of him in blue and gold will make me truly ecstatic."
-Michael Silver, Yahoo! Sports
"I am definitely excited. I think the overall mood of the team is excitement. Everyone is familiar with his successful background and we're looking forward to moving on and working hard to create a new tradition with Coach Montgomery."
-Theo Robertson, junior, California Basketball
"Mike Montgomery is a class act; he's a great coach and he's a great fit for Cal. The Pac-10 just got a whole lot tougher."
-Seth Davis, Sports Illustrated
"I have known Mike Montgomery for a very long time. In my years as a head basketball coach, as an athletic director and working for Fox, I have watched his teams closely. I have seen his practices and workouts. On all accounts, he is one of the most fundamentally sound coaches. He is very practical and no-nonsense and I have been so impressed with the consistency of his teams, which reflects his preparation. Another great aspect of Mike is that he has a system, but he makes adjustments to the players available. He plays to the strengths of his team. I am so pleased; my alma mater has made a truly great hire."
-Stan Morrison (Cal '61), Athletic Director, UC Riverside
"An absolute home run. There are few guys in college basketball who have the caché of Mike Montgomery and there are not any with his success in the Pac-10 who are available. Montgomery brings a sense of urgency to Cal basketball that states, 'we want to win with the best student athletes in the Pac 10.' Cal just created the most intriguing rivalry on the West Coast."
-Doug Gottlieb, ESPN Radio
"If Rick Pitino can do it, why can't Mike Montgomery? Bay Area basketball just became a huge national story. This is the biggest development in the Cal-Stanford rivalry since that trombone player got run over. Cal got lucky - and perhaps furrowed a brow or two in Palo Alto - when Mike returned to college basketball. Book it, the Bears will be back in the top 25 very soon."
-Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com
"I think Mike will be a perfect fit. He is really good with big men and he'll really help the young big guys Cal has. His track record speaks for itself; he's familiar with the community, he knows the Pac-10. We over-use the term 'student-athletes,' but he really is a guy that coaches true 'student-athletes' as well as anybody. I think it's a great hire; I don't think Cal could do any better than Mike."
-Barry Tompkins, Fox Sports
"Mike is one of the best coaches I've ever had. Now that I have been in the pro ranks, I have a greater appreciation for his basketball mind. I was very fortunate to play for him. I think it's a great hire for Cal and I told him I supported his decision. I hope the Stanford people wish Coach Montgomery well, just like I do. I know he has wanted to get back to college and when a quality job like Cal comes along, you can't blame him for taking that opportunity and returning to what he does best, which is coaching basketball. But I'm a Stanford boy for life; as much as I support him and I wish him well, you know who I'll be cheering for when Cal and Stanford play!"
Casey Jacobsen (Stanford '02), Memphis Grizzlies
"I think the potential is limitless for Coach Montgomery at Cal. His record speaks for itself, his success, his ability to win games. Most importantly, he is truly good at putting players in positions where they succeed. In the nine years surrounding my time at Stanford, for four years he tailored the program around Todd Lichti, then for four years with me inside, then over to Brevin Knight at point guard. Some coaches have a system that is successful, but Coach Montgomery tailors his system to the individual players, and I think that's what makes him successful. At Cal with a player like Ryan Anderson, he can put Ryan in situations where he can be the most efficient basketball player he can be and that will allow him to expand his game incredibly."
Adam Keefe (Stanford '92), Nine-year NBA veteran
"It's quite an accomplishment for Cal. Mike was one of the elite
coaches in all of college basketball when he left for the Warriors -
and that certainly isn't going to change now that he's returned to
-Frank Burlison, Long Beach Press-Telegram, FoxSports.com
"Mike is a terrific basketball coach who has enjoyed a great deal of success throughout his career. His accomplishments in this game are well-documented and you would be challenged to find a person with more character."
-Chris Mullin, General Manager, Golden State Warriors
"Will Monty succeed at Cal? Absolutely. No question. That is, if you define success by reaching the NCAA tournament and contending for the Pacific-10 Conference championship. The forecast here, assuming Montgomery receives the necessary administrative support, is that he will have the Bears back in the NCAA tournament within two years - maybe even as soon as next year - and in conference contention within three or four years."
-Mark Purdy, San Jose Mercury News
"I'm definitely excited about it. I guess a little surprised it happened so early in the process, but I'm happy with the decision. He's a winning coach, he coached in the NBA -- that's good enough for me as a player. I'm looking forward to getting started with him."
-Patrick Christopher, sophomore, California Basketball
"I think it's a great hire. I don't know anyone who follows basketball at all who would say anything else."
-Washington coach Lorenzo Romar
"So much has changed in the last two weeks. We're still kind of hurting for (ex-coach) Ben (Braun) not being a part of the program. Coach Braun didn't leave here hated. He left here loved. (But) with Coach Montgomery's track record and what we know about him, of course, it's exciting."
-Jamal Boykin, junior, California Basketball
"His professional move (to the Warriors) didn't turn out very well. That happens with so many good coaches. I think the bug of coaching just got him. His teams have always been solid -- that's the important thing."
-Cal coaching legend Pete Newell
"Mike is a great guy and a great friend. I'm glad to have him back. We need guys like that in the coaching profession."
-Arizona coach Lute Olson
"Having grown up in the Bay Area myself and having been at Stanford, there's a rivalry and everything. But it's hard not to have respect for Cal. They're not the evil empire over there. Coach Montgomery feels the same, I think. I know he has a lot of respect for the school. ... As a Stanford guy, they got a good one."
-Portland coach and Stanford grad Eric Reveno
"I think it's very exciting. But it really doesn't exceed my expectations. When I think of the university as a whole, I definitely expect excellence everywhere."
-Nican Robinson. sophomore, California Basketball
"Mike had a great tenure at Stanford, and I played against him when he was there. It was tough, but at the same time, when he was at Stanford, and at Golden State, he knows the Bay Area. This is the top of where he wants to be in the Bay Area. It can't get any better than this now that he gets to go to Cal. I'm happy for him, Stanford's wishing they still had him and we're glad we got him. Eventually he got to the top [in the Bay Area]; it's just a natural progression. I know myself and all the other Cal alumni are very happy that he's there. (Stanford's) in the past, that was a building block for him and I'm sure he's going to use that and we're looking for good things out of him and the Cal program. It's going to be exciting times at Cal and I think for all the ex-Cal basketball players, we've been able to support Cal and see that the football program's done really well the last couple of years, so now hopefully the basketball program can pick itself up as well."
-Sean Marks (Cal '98), Phoenix Suns