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

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

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

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