LOS ANGELES, Calif., — University of Stanford Head Basketball Coach Mike Montgomery, Stanford’s all-time winningest basketball coach, has been named this year’s recipient of the John R. Wooden “Legends of Coaching” honor, the Award’s chairman and founder Richard “Duke” Llewellyn announced today. Montgomery will join an exclusive group of coaches to receive the Wooden honor including North Carolina’s Dean Smith, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Arizona’s Lute Olson, Louisville’s Denny Crum and last year’s honoree, former Kansas Coach and current North Carolina Coach Roy Williams.
“We’re proud to associate our award with one of the most well-respected coaches in college basketball today,” said Llewellyn. “Mike has been instrumental in shaping Stanford into one of college basketball’s elite programs that is consistently ranked among the top in the nation. And above all, he has achieved his on-court success by recruiting quality student-athletes that demonstrate strong character and uphold the attributes that Coach Wooden advocated throughout his career. We look forward to presenting Mike with the `Legends of Coaching’ honor at this year’s Wooden Award ceremony.”
The Wooden Award Committee adopted the “Legends of Coaching” Award in 1999 to recognize the lifetime achievements of coaches that exemplify Coach Wooden’s high standards of coaching success and personal achievement. When selecting the individual, the Committee considers character, coaching philosophy, graduation rate of his student-athletes, success on the court, and his identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award. Montgomery will receive the award Saturday, April 10, 2004 during the Wooden Award Ceremony at The Los Angeles Athletic Club.
In 17 years at Stanford (1986-2003), Montgomery has compiled a distinguished 363-165 (.688) record while guiding the Stanford Basketball team to 15 post-season tournament appearances, including the prestigious Final Four in March of 1998, and three consecutive Pac-10 titles in 1999, 2000 and 2001. He boasts an even more impressive 24 winning seasons in his 25 years as a head coach at both Stanford and the University of Montana. Five athletes under Montgomery’s tutelage have been named Wooden All-Americans, including Todd Lichti in 1989, Brevin Knight in 1997, Mark Madsen in 2000, alone with Casey Jacobsen and Jarron Collins in 2001.
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his university that he is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Michael Jordan (’84), Larry Bird (’79), Tim Duncan (’97) and last year’s recipient, T.J. Ford (’03).
The 2004 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Team, the inaugural Women’s Wooden Award and the presentation of the Legends of Coaching Award, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on Saturday, April 10, 2004 and will be broadcast live on a CBS telecast.
The men’s and women’s top five finalists will receive a contribution from the John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund in their name to their university’s general scholarship fund. The Wooden Award scholarship fund was established in 2002 by Applied Materials and corporate partners through the California Community Foundation (CCF) to honor Coach Wooden’s dedication as an educator. The scholarship fund distributed a total of $75,000 to five universities last year, enabling 23 deserving students to pursue their educational goals. Anyone interested may contribute directly to the scholarship fund through the CCF (www.calfund.org).