One of college basketball's elite coaches, Mike Montgomery has led California to one of the most successful stretches in school history in his first four seasons at the helm of the Golden Bears.
Cal has earned a postseason berth and finished in the top-four in the Pac-12 Conference in each of Montgomery's four seasons in Berkeley. The Bears captured their first conference championship in 50 years in 2010 and tied for second in the league in 2012 with 24 wins overall and 13 victories in conference each of those seasons. The Bears' 88 wins under Montgomery is the most in any four-year stretch in more than 50 years.
Montgomery was rewarded with a contract extension by Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour in the summer prior to the 2012-13 season for his standout achievements at Cal.
Under Montgomery, several Bears have earned individual recognition, including 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, Jorge Gutierrez, 2011 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Allen Crabbe, 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year Jerome Randle, as well as seven all-conference honorees in his four seasons in Berkeley. The Bears have had multiple representatives on the all-conference squad in each of Montgomery's four seasons.
Cal earned its second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last four years, collecting 24 victories and finishing second in the conference in 2011-12. The Bears' success last season offers much promise for the future with three starters returning this winter, including the team's leading scorer and rebounder in Crabbe. Fellow all-conference honorees Justin Cobbs and David Kravish also return to the lineup this season - Montgomery's 31st career season as a collegiate coach.
A four-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year and recipient of a John R. Wooden "Legends of Coaching" Lifetime Achievement Award, Montgomery brought a proven record of success to Berkeley following successful tenures coaching at Stanford and Montana, and a brief stint as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA. He has collected 22 postseason appearances, claimed five conference championships and reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. Montgomery became the seventh active NCAA head coach to reach 600 Division I wins during the 2010-11 season.
"Throughout his years as a head coach, Coach Montgomery has established that he understands what it takes to develop a basketball program that will compete consistently with the nation's top teams," Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour said. "He has demonstrated a clear commitment to the 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."
Montgomery enters the 2012-13 season, with a 635-291 (.686) record at the college level. He was 393-167 (.702) over 18 years at Stanford from 1987-2004 and 154-77 (.667) during the previous eight seasons at Montana. In four years at Cal, Montgomery is 88-47 (.652). Overall, 29 of his 30 teams have posted winning records.
In his first season coaching the Bears in 2008-09, Montgomery took a team that was predicted to come in eighth in the Pac-10 pre-season media poll and guided Cal to a third-place finish in the conference. Montgomery also helped Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher earn All-Pac-10 first-team honors in 2009 and 2010. Under Montgomery's guidance, Randle won Pac-10 Player of the Year honors in 2010.
Montgomery took a relatively new team that was picked to finish in the lower half of the Pac-10 in 2010-11 and led the Bears to a tie for fourth place in the conference and first-round victory over Mississippi in the National Invitational Tournament.
During his tenure at Stanford, Montgomery led the Cardinal to 12 NCAA Tournament bids - including the 1998 Final Four - four NIT selections, four regular-season Pac-10 titles and the 2004 Pac-10 Tournament crown. His players earned first-team All-Pac-10 laurels 27 times and first or second team Pac-10 All-Academic notice on 25 occasions, more than double that of any other school during his years with the Cardinal.
Following the 2003-04 season, Montgomery left Stanford to become the head coach of the NBA's Golden State Warriors, where he compiled a 68-96 record in two seasons. He then served as an assistant to the athletic director at Stanford and worked as a television commentator for two years before accepting the offer to coach at Cal. During Montgomery's career at Stanford, the Cardinal registered at least 30 wins three times, including a school-record 31 victories in 2000-01. The 1997-98 and 2003-04 teams both finished with 30 wins. Stanford reached the 20-win mark on 13 occasions under his guidance, including each of his last 10 seasons.
Those 20-victory years corresponded with an NCAA Tournament invitation each time, highlighted by a trip to the 1998 NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, Texas. The third-seeded Cardinal finished the season with a 30-5 record after losing to second-seeded Kentucky, 86-85, in the NCAA semifinals.
While coaching on The Farm, Montgomery garnered an assortment of honors, including the prestigious John R. Wooden "Legends of Coaching" Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. The Long Beach, Calif., native was tabbed the Sports Illustrated National Coach of the Year in 2000 and the Naismith and Basketball Times Coach of the Year in `04. In addition, he has been honored as the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2004.
Montgomery received the John R. Wooden "Legends of Coaching" Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, following Dean Smith of North Carolina (1999), Mike Krzyzewski of Duke (2000), Lute Olson of Arizona (2001), Denny Crum of Louisville (2002) and Roy Williams of Kansas (2003). The award recognizes coaches who exemplify Coach Wooden's high standards of coaching success and personal accolades. When selecting the individual, the Wooden Award Committee considers character, coaching philosophy, graduation rate of student-athletes, success on the court and identification with the goals of the Wooden Award. Three student-athletes under Montgomery's tutelage have been named Wooden All-Americans (Todd Lichti in 1989, Mark Madsen in 2000 and Casey Jacobsen in 2001).
While Stanford advanced to the 1998 NCAA Final Four, its 2000-01 team is also recognized as one of the best in Cardinal history. Montgomery guided the Cardinal to a 31-3 record, a third straight Pac-10 title and a spot in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. During the year, Stanford set or tied 13 Pac-10 and school records, including team marks for wins (31) and scoring average (83.2). The Cardinal led the nation in field goal percentage (51.1%) and ranked in the top eight in the country in six statistical categories.
Montgomery's teams have also been noted for their defense, with five of his final eight Stanford squads leading the Pac-10 in fewest points allowed, including the 1999-2000 team that surrendered just 59.7 ppg.
Inheriting a Stanford program that had not advanced to the NCAA Tournament since winning the national title in 1942, Montgomery quickly had the Cardinal on the winning track. In his second year on The Farm, he piloted his charges to a 21-12 mark and an NIT invitation, becoming the first Stanford men's basketball team in 46 years to reach postseason play. A year later, the Cardinal earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament, finishing with a 26-7 record.
Montgomery's expertise helped eight Stanford players move on to NBA careers as first-round draft choices: Curtis Borchardt, Jarron Collins, Jason Collins, Adam Keefe, Brevin Knight, Lichti, Madsen and Jacobsen.
Before helping Stanford's ascend to the national stage, Montgomery oversaw the Montana program for eight years (1978-86). His teams averaged 19 wins per year, never had a losing season and earned two NIT selections. Montgomery guided the Grizzlies to five runner-up finishes in the Big Sky Conference and won at least 20 games each of his last four seasons.
Prior to accepting the head position at Montana, Montgomery served as an assistant coach there for two years. While he was with the Grizzlies, the university had four players drafted by the NBA: John Schroeder, Derrick Pope, Marc Glass and Larry Krystkowiak.
In addition, Montgomery has been an assistant coach at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Colorado State, the Citadel, Florida and Boise State.
Montgomery's proven track record caught the attention of USA Basketball, and he has been a member of national team staffs on several occasions. He served as an assistant coach for the United States at the 2002 World Basketball Championships, and in 1996, he was named head coach of the USA Men's 22-and-Under Select team. That year, Montgomery was chosen the USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year and the USOC Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year.
The 15th men's basketball head coach in Cal history, Montgomery earned his bachelor's of arts in physical education at Long Beach State in 1968. He received a master's degree in physical education from Colorado State in 1976. In 2002, Montgomery was named to the Long Beach State Hall of Fame.
Montgomery and his wife, Sarah, have two grown children, John and Anne.