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Basketball: Montgomery had “high-grade” bladder cancer, but has the all clear

By Jeff Faraudo
Friday, October 28th, 2011 at 12:33 pm in Basketball.

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.

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  • nickle

    Just crazy. So glad everything’s ok with Monty. Sure puts perspective to a lot of things.

  • rollonubears

    I’m glad he finally decided to let people know what was wrong. I hope he stays cancer free for a long time, and I hope this team rallies around him and wins another title.

    Go Bears!

  • milo

    Wow, perspective indeed. Hang tough Monty!

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Great that he’s ok and gets to watch his Bears in person.

  • Bears

    I really appreciate the way Monty handles things. The way he attended media day and told his story was the way winners handle things. A very good man and great coach.
    Coach, please do take care of yourself. Nothing matters more than your health. We love you at Cal and want what’s best for you and your family.
    Glad to hear about the positive prognosis.

  • K1W

    Bad news about the reason for surgery, but GREAT news about the outcome.