Cal basketball coach Mike Montgomery said today he was diagnosed a month ago with “high-grade bladder cancer,” but has been told he is cancer free after Oct. 19 surgery.
“Everything since that time has been all clear, all clear, all clear,” he told reporters at Pac-12 Conference media day in Los Angeles. “That’s good news.”
But he was told by his doctors, “Three months ago, we wouldn’t have found this. Six months from now, you’d be done. It’s scary.
“You feel relatively on top of your game, to no longer being in charge. It could have gone the other way. But I’m good to go. Probably adds a little perspective to your life.”
The athletic department announced earlier this week that Montgomery, 64, was given a clean bill of health by his doctors.
Cal senior guard Jorge Gutierrez said the players missed him while he was sidelined from practice, but said when Montgomery opened up to them about his situation they felt a closer, personal connection.
Montgomery said he has no limitations, but needs to get his strength back. He has lost a little weight, he said, but watched the Bears’ entire practice Thursday and expects to be back on the court full-time by Monday.
Montgomery compiled a record of 64-37 in his first three seasons at Cal, including the 2010 Pac-10 title, the school’s first in 50 years. Previously, he enjoyed a long, successful run as coach at rival Stanford, then had a brief stint as head coach of the Golden State Warriors.