1. What are your thoughts on Montgomery retiring?
Nick Kranz: My gut reaction to Monty retiring? I'm happy for him. He deserves it. We all knew it was happening sooner rather than later, so I'm glad he got to leave on his own terms, even if it meant bowing out after a season that wasn't as successful as he would have wanted.
And while it's going to be difficult to replace a hall of fame caliber coach, retirement is certainly better than Monty forcing himself to coach another year or two if his heart wasn't totally in it. Already, some have (fairly, I think) speculated that this year's up-and-down performance might in some way be connected to a coach who perhaps knew he was ready to hang it up.
I'm pretty sure Monty is making the right decision for himself, and that makes it by default the right decision for Cal.
atomsareenough: Well, I really like Monty, so it's sad to see him call it a career. I always appreciated his sorta good-natured-yet-curmudgeonly-
professor disposition. There have been a lot of great moments, and I think, even though the results haven't been completely sublime, they've been pretty darn good. He's really taken the program forward, he's done it in the right manner, befitting Cal, and I think he's left the foundation in very good shape for the next guy.
I think, as Montgomery said himself, he could have continued to be an effective basketball coach for a few more years at least, and I would have probably been fine with that, but then, given how this year played out and ended up in a disappointing way, if Monty realized that he didn't quite have the fire in his belly anymore to push his team to achieve what they were fully capable of, then it's probably for the best that he step away now. So, kudos for him for his self-awareness, and as a fan, I'm so grateful and happy to have partaken in the Montgomery era. At its best, it was extremely enjoyable brand of basketball, and it evoked plenty of pride as a Cal Bear. I have a ton of respect for Monty and will always be a fan of his.
Ruey Yen: I was surprised that Monty decided to hang it up this year as oppose to a couple of years from now. The disappointment of a season stemming form the lack of a NCAA tournament berth is not how I want to see the Mike Montgomery era ends in Berkeley. Nevertheless, I am also happy that Monty got to make this decision himself (rather being forced out by the administration or his health). I will miss the quiet comfort that I have for these past few years that even if the team doesn't have a high ceiling, the floor is pretty high as well.
I'm very curious (despite it will always just be speculation) whether it is this past year's very un-Monty like team forcing Monty to decide to hang it up or Monty's diminish passion to go through the yearly grind that is being a college basketball coach that led to the poor fundamentals displayed by the team. I am now a bit worried that if we ends up with a young up and comer rather than an established guy (like Howland) AND Sandy's regime also comes to an end next year, there may be little patient by a new AD on both Sonny Dykes and this new hire.
Vincent S: I grew up watching college basketball, and in particular, Monty's team's at Stanford. By a stroke of fortune, Monty happened to join the Cal program the same year I entered as a freshman, and he's leaving the same year I'm leaving with a Masters degree. While I'm not happy he's leaving, I think that in light of his press conference, I'm glad for him, and satisfied with where he's brought Cal basketball over the last 6 years. Remember Jorge coming up with 4 steals to lead us back from 22 down in 2009 against Stanford, or cutting down the nets in 2010? Remember the infamous Michael Greenstein game, or taking down #1 Arizona this year? Mike Montgomery has brought us some incredible moments, and he'll definitely be missed.
[LeonPowe] I'm actually glad he's deciding to go out on his terms. Unfortunately today's college basketball game is the domain of the recruiter. I really really liked Monty, but I felt we had missed our potential ceiling a couple of times. Not to say I thought he was doing a poor job, but I'm glad he's leaving before he went out in the ignominy of a really poor season.