Mike Mercenary To Cal

Posted by nvr1983 on April 4th, 2008

Last fall we wrote a posting in reference to former Stanford and Golden State Warriors head coach Mike Montgomery taking some undefined and vacuous role as an advisor in the Stanford athletic department.  Getting the sense that Monty was restless, we wondered aloud whether this move was some sort of failsafe strategy on the part of Stanford should Trent Johnson’s Cardinal have another underachieving season. 

Given that Stanford ended up as a #3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and rode the Lopez Twins to the Sweet 16, Johnson’s job appears safe, but lo and behold if the other major source of academic smug on the west coast, Cal-Berkeley, didn’t fire its longtime and chronic underachiever Ben Braun last week.  Hmmm… 

Mike Montgomery 2

Judas Iscariot is Moving to Berkeley

Mercenary that he is, Montgomery today accepted the head job at Cal in a startling move that can only be compared with one of the other great treasonous acts in college sports history (Rick Pitino to Louisville) – equally heinous, but perhaps with a little less passionate response from the fans.  Make no mistake though, despite both being world-class institutions of higher education, these two schools do not like one another, and several of the pranks the students have played on each other rank among some of the very best we’ve seen (especially this one).  So the very idea that the architect and greatest coach in the history of Stanford basketball (he’s in the Cardinal HOF, for chrissakes!) will cross the Maginot Line Bay to coach the enemy is nothing short of perfidy. 

To its credit, um, the Stanford community seem to be taking the news well.  One poster named CreoleCard on this forum caught our eye with his measured response to the news (love the use of the small “c” to really hammer home the inferiority angle):

1. We got his best years.  I can’t imagine that he will be that thrilled to recruit now at his age.
2. He won’t have to worry about admissions standards at cal.
3. It’s fitting that cal would want our left overs.
4. Interesting that cal would go to him with all the younger, up-and-coming coaches available.
5.  Anything at cal is doomed to failure.  The tide is turning on Tedford now.

The Cal response, on the other hand, is ecstatic for the most part.  “Great Hire, Ms. Barbour” are the comments we see popping up all over Bear Territory today.   It will be intriguing to see how this plays out.  If anything, this move makes Cal basketball relevant again, which is something that hasn’t been true since Tony Gonzalez was playing two sports at Berkeley.  And without the stringent recruiting restrictions at Stanford, Monty will feel free to follow the Tedford Plan with impunity and recruit every 6’8 Oaklander who can dribble and shoot a basketball.

nvr1983 (1389 Posts)

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