Griz Hoops honors legendary coach Mike Montgomery
Thursday evening at halftime of the University of Montana/North Dakota State men's basketball game at Robin Selvig Court, legendary Hall of Fame coach Mike Mongomery was honored. The Grizzlies were hosting the Basketball Travellers' Mike Montgomery Classic with UC-Davis also taking part. Montgomery was Montana's head coach from 1978 to 1986 winning nearly 70 percent of his games and racking up 155 wins as the Grizzlies' head coach. Montgomery was given a framed Griz jersey with number "677" commemorating his 677 career wins which include his victories with not only Montana but also Stanford, and the University of California. Under Montgomery's guidance, the Stanford Cardinal went to the NCAA Tournament 11 times which included three berths in the Sweet Sixteen and the Final Four in 1998. While at Cal, the Golden Bears experienced their most successful stint in program history, qualifying for the postseason all six season under his direction. During his career, Montgomery won six PAC-10 titles, was the league's Coach of the Year 4 times and the national Coach of the Year twice. Montgomery went on to coach the Golden State Warriors of the NBA from 2004-2006 and went into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.
The Montana Grizzlies have produced seven Big Sky Conference MVPs and four of them came under Mike Montgomery. Last night's presentation honored Montgomery as "the glue of Montana's proud coaching tree, having ties to future coaches like Stew Morrill, Blaine Taylor, Larry Krystkowiak, Wayne Tinkle and current head coach Travis DeCuire. DeCuire presented Montgomery with the jersey and both coaches addressed the large Thursday evening crowd. Montgomery said came to Montana as a 31-year-old who did "some growing up" while at the University while thanking the school and the city.
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Gallery Credit: Paul Panisko