Mike Montgomery served as the head men's basketball coach at Stanford for 18 seasons (1986-2004). The success for the winningest men's basketball coach in Stanford history included 16 postseason appearances (12 NCAA, 4 NIT), four regular season Pac-10 titles, a 2004 Pac-10 Tournament crown and a record of 393-167 (.702).
Stanford’s trips to the NCAA Tournament under his leadership came in the 1989, ‘92, ‘95, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98, ‘99, 2000, ‘01, ‘02, ‘03 and ‘04 campaigns. The Cardinal made its deepest NCAA postseason run with an appearance at the 1998 NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.
Stanford received bids to the National Invitational Tournament in 1985, ‘86, ‘88, ‘90, ‘91 and ’94. The Cardinal won the 1991 NIT in New York.
Montgomery earned numerous coaching honors during his tenure with the Cardinal, including the prestigious John R. Wooden “Legends of Coaching” Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. He was also the Basketball Times National Coach of Year twice (2000, ’04) and the Pac-10 Coach of the Year on four occasions (1999, 2000, ’03, ’04).
Stanford reached the 30-win plateau three times during his tenure with a school record 31 victories during the 2000-01 season and 30 wins in both 1997-98 and 2003-04. The Cardinal reached the 20-win mark on 13 occasions under Montgomery, including each of his last 10 seasons.
He led Stanford its first ever No. 1 national ranking on December 20, 1999, and the Cardinal was ranked No. 1 in the polls at some point during the 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2003-04 campaigns.
As the winner of the 2004 winner John R. Wooden "Legends of Coaching" Lifetime Achievement Award, Montgomery followed Dean Smith of the University of North Carolina (1999), Mike Krzyzewski of Duke (2000), Arizona'a Lute Olson (2001), Denny Crum of Louisville (2002) and Roy Williams of Kansas (2003). The award recognizes the lifetime achievement of 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 philosphy, graduation rate of his student-athletes, success on the court, and his identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award. Three athletes under Montgomery's tutelage have been named Wooden All-Americans (Todd Lichti in 1989, Mark Madsen in 2000, and Casey Jacobsen in 2001).
In 2003-04, Montgomery guided Stanford to a 30-2 record as the Cardinal went undefeated in its first 26 games before losing at Washington in the final regular season contest of the campaign. The regular season Pac-10 winners also captured their first conference tournament crown and an NCAA Tournament game before being upset by Alabama in the second round of the NCAA’s. Stanford’s 26-game win streak to open the season was the longest in the Pac-10 since Oregon State also won 26 in a row during the 1980-81 campaign.
During the 2002-03 season, Stanford tallied a 24-9 record, and finished in second place in the Pacific-10 Conference with a 14-4 mark. That made nine straight seasons that Stanford chalked up 20 or more wins. The second place finish in the Pac-10 gave the Cardinal their seventh straight top-two finish in the conference. For his efforts, Montgomery was named Co-Coach of the Year in the Pac-10, the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) District-9 Coach of the Year, and a finalist for the 2003 Naismith Coach of the Year. Five of Stanford's wins were against nationally-ranked teams, including a 82-77 decision at #1 ranked Arizona. During the season, Stanford set two team records and broke or tied four school and Maples Pavilion records.
During the 2001-02 season, Stanford chalked up a 20-10 record, a high national ranking, a second place finish in the Pac-10 Conference and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for an eighth straight season. The Cardinal was ranked first, second or third in 13 conference team categories, and two players, Curtis Borchardt and Casey Jacobsen, were selected in the first round of the 2002 NBA Draft.
During the 2000-01 season, Montgomery directed the Cardinal to a 31-3 record, a third straight Pacific-10 Conference title, and a seventh straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Thirteen Pac-10 and school records were either tied or broken, including wins (31), scoring average (83.2 ppg) and season points (2,829). Stanford led the nation in field goal percentage at .511. The Cardinal was ranked either first or second in 13 conference categories, and nationally, the team was ranked in the Top-8 in six categories. For his efforts, Montgomery was named the 2001 winner of the John and Nellie Wooden Award, the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) District-9 Coach of the Year, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District-14 Coach of the Year.
During the 1999-00 season, Montgomery led the Cardinal to a sixth straight appearance in the NCAA's with a 27-4 record. Also that year, Montgomery directed a Stanford defense that broke the NCAA field goal defensive percentage record with a mark of .352. Stanford was ranked either 1-or-2 in 15 different team categories in the Pac-10. Ten school records were either broken or tied.
Also during the 1999-00 season, Stanford was ranked #1 for the first time in school history. Stanford ended the 1999-00 season ranked third in the Associated Press poll, and fifth in the USA Today/ESPN poll. For his efforts, Montgomery was named the 2000 Naismith College Basketball Coach of the Year, the 2000 Basketball Times Coach of the Year, 2000 Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year, and the 2000 NABC District-14 Coach of the Year.
During the 1998-99 season, Montgomery directed the Cardinal to the NCAA Tournament, and the school's first conference title since the 1962-63 season. In the process, Montgomery became Stanford's all-time winningest men's basketball coach.
During the 1998-99 season, Montgomery was a finalist for the prestigious Clair Bee Award, honoring the active Division I basketball coach who has made the most significant positive contribution to his sport during the preceding year.
During the 1998-99 season, the Cardinal chalked up a 26-7 record, the fifth-most number of wins in school history. The 26 wins were impressive in light of the fact that Stanford played its toughest schedule in school history. Included were games against nine teams that ranked in the Top 25; NCAA champion Connecticut, #5 St. John's, #8 Maryland, and #12 Arizona among them.
During the 1997-98 season, Montgomery directed the team to an appearance in the NCAA Final Four.
"Walking around San Antonio and seeing all the people wearing their Stanford stuff and recognizing so many familiar faces was great," said Montgomery. "It brought home what college basketball is all about, which is being proud of your school and how your players handle themselves and compete. So from a university standpoint, there is nothing better. From a basketball standpoint, this puts us in the upper echelon."
Stanford finished the 1997-98 season with a 30-5 record and a #4 national ranking in the final USA Today/ESPN poll. The Cardinal finished tenth in the Associated Press poll.
In 1997-98, Stanford broke or tied 18 school, Maples Pavilion and NCAA records. In the Pac-10, Stanford placed first in eight offensive and defensive categories.
Under Montgomery's direction in 1996-97, Stanford finished the season ranked 12th in the final USA Today/CNN poll.
In just his second year (1987-88) at Stanford's helm, Montgomery piloted the Cardinal to a 21-12 record and an invitation to the 1988 NIT, being the first Stanford team in 46 years to reach postseason play. The following year, the Cardinal posted a 26-7 record, and advanced to the 1989 NCAA Tournament, the first Stanford NCAA Tournament berth since Stanford won the 1942 NCAA championship.
Under Montgomery's direction in 1988-89, the Cardinal finished 12th in the final United Press International poll, and 13th in the Associated Press poll, Stanford's highest ranking since the 1962-63 campaign when Stanford finished 10th in the UPI poll.
During the 1988-89 campaign, Stanford set or tied 26 Stanford, Maples Pavilion, team, individual and Pac-10 records. Included were a then school record 15 conference wins, and a second place finish in the Pac-10 behind nationally-ranked Arizona.
Montgomery followed that up by piloting each of his next three teams into NCAA or NIT tournaments. Montgomery's 1990 team posted a 18-12 record and played in the NIT; in 1991, the Cardinal took home top NIT honors, finishing the season at 20-13; and in 1992, Montgomery coached Stanford to the NCAA Tournament and an 18-11 record. In 1993-94, Stanford, behind Montgomery's guidance, posted a 17-11 record and again participated in the NIT.
The 1988-89 squad posted a 26-7 record and became the first Stanford team to advance to the NCAA Tournament since the 1942 NCAA championship club. A season earlier, Montgomery piloted the Cardinal to a 21-12 record and an NIT invitation to become the first Stanford team in 46 years to reach postseason play.
Eight of Montgomery’s players at Stanford – Curtis Borchardt, Jarron Collins, Jason Collins, Adam Keefe, Brevin Knight, Todd Lichti, Mark Madsen and Casey Jacobsen -- have played in the NBA and were first round draft choices. Lichti and Keefe finished their careers as Stanford's #1 and #2 all-time leading scorers, respectively, while Keefe is the school's all-time leading rebounder. Knight is the school record holder in assists and steals, and #4 all-time in scoring. Lichti, Keefe, Knight and Jacobsen were named to numerous All-America teams during their tenure at Stanford. Madsen was selected in the first round by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000, while Collins was a first round draft choice of the Houston Rockets in the 2001 NBA Draft. Borchardt and Jacobsen were selected by the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns, respectively, in the 2002 NBA Draft. Another Cardinal player, Andrew Vlahov, was a top professional player in Australia and a member of that country's Olympic team.
Under Montgomery's leadership, attendance and enthusiasm reached a fever pitch at Maples Pavilion, which is currently undergoing a $30 million renovation, as Stanford routinely played before soldout crowds during his tenure.
Montgomery, 57, had been at the University of Montana, located in Missoula, for the previous 10 years. The first two of those years, he was an assistant coach. Montgomery was head mentor at Montana for eight years, where his overall record was 154-77, for a winning percentage of .657.
Montgomery averaged 19 wins per season while at Montana, and his teams qualified for the Big Sky post-season tournament four-team format all five seasons that that particular format was used. In his last two years there, his teams went on to compete in the NIT post-season tournament.
In his last four years at Montana, Montgomery produced four consecutive 20-win seasons in the Big Sky Conference. His teams went 21-8 in 1982-83, 23-7 in 1983-84, 22-8 in 1984-85, and 21-11 in 1985-86. His winning percentage of .667 is the fifth-best of any Big Sky coach in the league’s 39-year history.
Montgomery, who never had a losing season in his eight-year tenure at Montana, served as an assistant coach for three years at Boise State before coming to Montana. He also coached at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Colorado State, the Citadel, and the University of Florida.
Under Montgomery’s tenure, Montana had five second-place regular season finishes in the Big Sky. In tournament play, Montgomery had four second-place finishes.
During Montgomery’s time at Montana, the university had four players drafted by the NBA, including John Stroeder, a 6-foot-10 center, in the eighth round by the Portland Trailblazers in 1980; Derrick Pope, a 6-foot-6 forward, in the sixth round by Portland in 1983; Marc Glass, a fourth-round choice of the Los Angeles Clippers in 1984; and Larry Krystkowiak, a 6-foot-9 forward, who averaged 22.2 points and 11.4 rebounds for the Grizzlies as a senior, drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round in 1986.
Krystkowiak was a three-time Big Sky Conference MVP. He was also the District VII Player-of-the-Year as a junior and as a senior. In addition, he was a first team Academic All-America as a junior and as a senior.
Montgomery added another title to his resume when he was named on April 29, 1996, as head coach of the 1996 USA Men's 22-and-Under Select team by the USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee.
In 2002, Montgomery was named an Assistant Coach for the United States at the World Basketball Championships. Montgomery previously served USA Basketball as an assistant coach for the 1994 Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team that journeyed to Argentina and won the gold medal with an 8-0 record. Prior to that, he coached the Pacific-10 Conference all-star team that toured Holland and Belgium in 1991. "It was a tremendous honor to be selected to represent the United States," said Montgomery. "And it was also a tremendous opportunity and challenge to be able to work with the best basketball players in the United States." Under Montgomery's direction, the U.S. 22-and-Under team captured the gold medal at the 1996 COPABA Men's 22-and-Under World Championship Qualifying Tournament in Caugas, Puerto Rico. For his efforts, Montgomery was named 1996 USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year and the USOC Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year. Two members of the U.S. team were from Stanford, graduated All-America guard Brevin Knight and Tim Young. The U.S. team thus qualified for the FIBA 22-and-Under World Championships held in Melbourne, Australia in 1997. Montgomery is a member of the NCAA Rules Committee, and the NABC Board of Directors.
Montgomery is by no means new to the state of California. He is a native of Long Beach, and a 1968 graduate of Cal State Long Beach, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education. Montgomery continued his education at Colorado State University. He received his Masters Degree from Colorado State in physical education in 1976. Montgomery was born on February 27, 1947. In 2002, Montgomery was named to the Long Beach State Hall of Fame. Montgomery is married. He and his wife, Sarah, have two children, John, age 21, and Anne, age 18. The family resides in Menlo Park.