Who Doesn’t See This Coming?Posted by rtmsf on August 28th, 2007
Word out of the Bay Area today is that Mike Montgomery, coach emeritus of Stanford University, will be returning to The Farm in an administrative capacity with the athletic department. According to the San Jose Mercury News:
He is expected to help with fundraising and the mentoring of coaches, a job that should allow him to continue working as a regional television analyst during the college basketball season. [...] “We’ve talked at some length about having him come back with some role at Stanford,” [Stanford AD Bob] Bowlsby said last month. “I think we’ve got a plan in mind.”
Trent Johnson Needs to be Careful in 07-08
What could that plan be? The pressure is on for current head man Trent Johnson as Stanford, led by the Lopez wondertwins (“activate… form of… a complete player“), is expected to field its best team in his four years at the helm. His previous three years have been underwhelming, resulting in a 52-40 overall record with two Mark Madsen-ugly first-round NCAA beatdowns. Compare that with Monty’s 74-21 mark during his last three years in Palo Alto.
From this angle, this looks an awful lot like the Pat Riley / Stan van Gundy situation with the Miami Heat last year. We can easily envision a mid-season takeover should the Cardinal get off to another bad start (the last two seasons have begun with ridiculous Stanford home losses – 79-45 vs. Air Force in 2005-06, and 79-63 to UC-Irvine in 2004-05), and especially if the promise of this team isn’t fully realized come next March. With the Pac-10 arguably having the most talent in the nation in 2007-08, Johnson is going to have to get the most of his players this year to make the NCAAs and keep his job. Being a high-profile college coach is hard enough without your esteemed and more accomplished predecessor hovering over your shoulder at every move. The easy prediction: Monty will be back as head coach at Stanford by next spring.