Cal's Mike Montgomery retiring


California coach Mike Montgomery has retired after six seasons with the Golden Bears.

He met with athletic director Sandy Barbour on Monday to discuss his future plans before addressing the media.

He said that when he walked off the court last week following an NIT loss to SMU, he had a sneaking suspicion that it was time to retire after more than four decades and 1,000 games as a basketball coach.

He waited a few days to make sure his initial feeling wasn't solely the normal fatigue that comes at the end of a long season.

"It's all good, it's all positive," he said at a news conference. "It's all for the right reasons. I feel really good about my decision at this time. I just think it's time."

Montgomery, 67, got emotional a few times during his retirement announcement, especially when talking about the commitment from his family, including son John, who was an assistant on his staff.

The Golden Bears went 21-14 and made the postseason for the sixth time in as many years under Montgomery but struggled late in the season and missed out on a return trip to the NCAAs.

Montgomery finishes his career with a 677-317 record, having also spent 18 years at Stanford and eight at Montana. Montgomery also had two disappointing seasons as coach of the NBA's Golden State Warriors in between his stints at Stanford and Cal.

"I wanted to go out on my own terms," he said. "I didn't want to go out because my health wasn't good, and my health is great. I wanted to go out making my own decision and not somebody else telling me I couldn't coach anymore, and I think I did that."

Montgomery recommended assistant Travis DeCuire for the job, pointing to his work at improving the academic performance of the players and his strong relationship with the players.

"The players in our program trust Travis, and that is huge in today's business," Montgomery said. "They want to play for him, and he's developed relationships with these kids and he's developed relationships with people we need to recruit."

Barbour said DeCuire would be a "significant candidate" but she will conduct a national search to find the person who is the "absolute best fit" for Cal. Barbour plans to go to the Final Four in North Texas this week, where she could meet with potential candidates.

Montgomery also addressed his team privately, breaking down in tears when telling them the news.

"It was my first time ever seeing him sad and actually crying," sophomore guard Tyrone Wallace said. "It definitely shocked me. I'm just happy for him."

Montgomery had one of the most successful coaching careers in Pac-12 history, building a program almost from scratch at Stanford and leading Cal to its first regular-season conference title in 50 years. He ranks third all-time with 282 conference wins and finished in fourth place or better in his last 15 seasons at Cal and Stanford despite often having less talent than some of his competitors.

Montgomery went 130-73 at Cal, posting the most wins in a six-year stretch in school history. He ranks third on the school's all-time wins list.

"Clearly this program is in very good position, and it's thanks to Mike Montgomery and his staff," Barbour said.

Montgomery underwent surgery for bladder cancer before the 2011-12 season but said he is in good health now.

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