Mike Montgomery retires, the coach who turned Stanford basketball into a powerhouse

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The best coach in Stanford basketball history is putting the whistle away for good

In Stanford basketball history, the list of best coaches stops at one. And now Mike Montgomery is retired.

The 4-time Pac-10 coach of the year who took the Cardinal to the 1998 Final Four called it a career on Monday, stepping away from the Cal Bears and into his place in history.

Montgomery, who coached on the Farm from 1986-2004, amassed a 393-167 record, produced some of the most iconic players in Cardinal history (Mark Madsen, Casey Jacobsen, Josh Childress) and turned Stanford into a basketball school for two decades.

Stanford won the Pac-10 outright three times and tied for another conference title from 1998-2004. His teams made the NCAA tournament every year his last 10 seasons on the Farm, making a Final Four run, an Elite Eight appearance and grabbing #1 seeds in 2001 and 2004.

Given his iconic status in Maples - a status I don't think is tainted in any way by coaching at Cal - I wouldn't be all that surprised to see his name on the court someday soon. At a time when Stanford basketball has some momentum going after the surprise Sweet 16 run, I wouldn't even mind if they did it this season as a PR stunt to get some people back inside Maples. Stanford basketball's expectations are set by the standard that Mike Montgomery achieved on the Farm, so it'd be a great way to honor him and connect the team of the present with the past.

Over his career, Montgomery was 677-316, good for an impressive .682 win percentage, but both his wins and win percentage are just outside that upper echelon of great coaches - and 700 wins could have easily been attained had Monty stuck around for two more years.

But sometimes it's not just records that tell you to walk away - sometimes it's just the end.

Montgomery's year-by-year results at Stanford:

1986-87          15-13 .536 9-9 .500 6th
1987-88          21-12 .636 11-7 .611 4th NIT 2nd Round
1988-89          26-7 .788 15-3 .833 2nd NCAA 1st Round
1989-90          18-12 .600 9-9 .500 6th NIT 1st Round
1990-91          20-13 .606 8-10 .444 T-5th NIT Champions
1991-92          18-11 .621 10-8 .556 4th NCAA 1st Round
1992-93           7-23 .233 2-16 .111 10th
1993-94          17-11 .607 10-8 .556 T-4th NIT 1st Round
1994-95          20-9 .690 10-8 .556 T-5th NCAA 2nd Round
1995-96          21-8 .724 13-5 .722 3rd NCAA 2nd Round
1996-97          22-8 .733 12-6 .667 T-2nd NCAA Sweet 16
1997-98          30-5 .857 15-3 .833 2nd NCAA Final Four
1998-99          26-7 .788 15-3 .833 1st NCAA 2nd Round
1999-00           27-4 .871 15-3 .833 T-1st NCAA 2nd Round
2000-01          31-3 .912 16-2 .889 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2001-02          20-10 .667 12-6 .667 T-2nd NCAA 2nd Round
2002-03          24-9 .727 14-4 .778 2nd NCAA 2nd Round
2003-04         30-2 .938 17-1 .944 1st NCAA 2nd Round
Totals             393-167 .702 213-111 .657

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