Tip of the Cap to Cal's Montgomery

Tip of the Cap to Cal's Montgomery
February 10, 2010, 1:01 am
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Feb. 9, 2010
You know who Im happy for? Mike Montgomery.Im happy for Montgomery because hes once again beingthought of as one of the best coaches around. And thats the way it should be.Because he is. When Montgomery left Stanford after the 2004 season to coachthe Golden State Warriors, he was considered one of the games brightest mindsand second-to-none when it came to getting his teams to play hard. His Stanford teams were tough and smart, and nobody couldaccuse Montgomery of not getting the most out of his players.Then he went to the Warriors, where he put togetherback-to-back 34-48 seasons. His reputation took a hit, and the common refrainbecame that Montgomery couldnt succeed at the pro level. Maybe not. But Montgomery never came into that Warriorssituation thinking he knew it all or that he was the one to turn it around. Hewalked out onto the floor during training camp of the 2004-05 seasonaccompanied by a desire to learn the pro game and plenty of humility. I know that because I was around the Warriors then, as Ivebeen around them for the past 15 years or so. At the end of Montgomerystwo-year run with the Warriors, I remember him saying: When I took theWarriors job, I didnt even know what I didnt know. Well, one thing Montgomery knows is how to coach. Hesbetter at it at the college level than he is at the pro level, but in the grandscheme of things that matters little. What does matter is Montgomery has Cal in first place in thePac-10 Conference and is looking at guiding the Bears to their first conferencechampionship in 50 years. He took the Cal job last year and promptly got themback into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005-06 with a teamthat was picked to finish in the lower half of the conference, by the way.Now that Montgomerys two-year stint with the Warriors hasbeen mostly forgotten, hes making people remember just how great of a coach hestill is.--Matt Steinmetz

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