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HW58 Offline
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Post: #41
RE: Monty the Spartan
You coach a team, you wear the team's colors. Pretty simple in my book. NIU needs/deserves better than that from it's head basketball coach.
03-19-2019 08:24 PM
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NIU007 Online
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Post: #42
RE: Monty the Spartan
(03-19-2019 06:42 PM)NorthCoast Wrote:  
(03-19-2019 06:24 PM)bikechuck Wrote:  When Monty was hired and introduced as our Head Coach I was impressed and excited for the future of the program.

I wasn't. But I'm sure I was in the minority at that time. I'm not one bit surprised how Monty's tenure has played out (I'm sure I'm in the minority there as well).

I'm very curious to know what camp everyone was in at the time of his hire.

Be honest, everybody.

I really had no idea one way or the other back then. I figured he would probably be better than Patton but other than that, didn't know. I don't follow BB as closely as football though.
(This post was last modified: 03-20-2019 08:11 AM by NIU007.)
03-20-2019 08:11 AM
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klake87 Offline
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Post: #43
RE: Monty the Spartan
(03-19-2019 06:42 PM)NorthCoast Wrote:  
(03-19-2019 06:24 PM)bikechuck Wrote:  When Monty was hired and introduced as our Head Coach I was impressed and excited for the future of the program.

I wasn't. But I'm sure I was in the minority at that time. I'm not one bit surprised how Monty's tenure has played out (I'm sure I'm in the minority there as well).

I'm very curious to know what camp everyone was in at the time of his hire.

Be honest, everybody.

Why did you not like the hire? He was the top assistant coach at a basketball powerhouse school. He has mid-western ties which are needed for recruiting at a MAC level school. What negatives did you see?
03-20-2019 10:31 AM
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chihuskie Offline
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Post: #44
RE: Monty the Spartan
(03-20-2019 10:31 AM)klake87 Wrote:  
(03-19-2019 06:42 PM)NorthCoast Wrote:  
(03-19-2019 06:24 PM)bikechuck Wrote:  When Monty was hired and introduced as our Head Coach I was impressed and excited for the future of the program.

I wasn't. But I'm sure I was in the minority at that time. I'm not one bit surprised how Monty's tenure has played out (I'm sure I'm in the minority there as well).

I'm very curious to know what camp everyone was in at the time of his hire.

Be honest, everybody.

Why did you not like the hire? He was the top assistant coach at a basketball powerhouse school. He has mid-western ties which are needed for recruiting at a MAC level school. What negatives did you see?
SEEMED like a good hire-- but lack of Illinois specific ties and lack of head coach experience was notable. But coming off Patton-- wow! What a "great hire." In retrospect-- "big school pedigree" hid deficiencies, IMHO.

Note-- guys in his program have NEVER grown into their roles, or into their bodies. You know, just because the MAC is not a "power conference" does NOT mean you can come in undesized and weak (not mincing words) and never get appreciably stronger and never get appreciably better. Again, just my observations from afar. I have seen a lot of guys who were undersized come in and a year or two later they remain undersized. why? Do we lack strength facilities? No. What is it then ? lack of nutritional information? no. What is it then?

I credit the current crop of players. They seem to have put in the work and made the effort. But the challenge we face is scaling a mountain. And effort sufficient to scale a hill is not enough. I will look at the brightside. I will say this year we scaled the foothills. For next year, we will work HARD to be prepared to scale the mountain. Into thin air baby!
03-20-2019 11:38 AM
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Dtownboys Offline
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Post: #45
RE: Monty the Spartan
(03-20-2019 11:38 AM)chihuskie Wrote:  
(03-20-2019 10:31 AM)klake87 Wrote:  
(03-19-2019 06:42 PM)NorthCoast Wrote:  
(03-19-2019 06:24 PM)bikechuck Wrote:  When Monty was hired and introduced as our Head Coach I was impressed and excited for the future of the program.

I wasn't. But I'm sure I was in the minority at that time. I'm not one bit surprised how Monty's tenure has played out (I'm sure I'm in the minority there as well).

I'm very curious to know what camp everyone was in at the time of his hire.

Be honest, everybody.

Why did you not like the hire? He was the top assistant coach at a basketball powerhouse school. He has mid-western ties which are needed for recruiting at a MAC level school. What negatives did you see?
SEEMED like a good hire-- but lack of Illinois specific ties and lack of head coach experience was notable. But coming off Patton-- wow! What a "great hire." In retrospect-- "big school pedigree" hid deficiencies, IMHO.

Note-- guys in his program have NEVER grown into their roles, or into their bodies. You know, just because the MAC is not a "power conference" does NOT mean you can come in undesized and weak (not mincing words) and never get appreciably stronger and never get appreciably better. Again, just my observations from afar. I have seen a lot of guys who were undersized come in and a year or two later they remain undersized. why? Do we lack strength facilities? No. What is it then ? lack of nutritional information? no. What is it then?

I credit the current crop of players. They seem to have put in the work and made the effort. But the challenge we face is scaling a mountain. And effort sufficient to scale a hill is not enough. I will look at the brightside. I will say this year we scaled the foothills. For next year, we will work HARD to be prepared to scale the mountain. Into thin air baby!

I disagree that he has never developed any player to grow in a role. Marin Maric for one developed in a solid center. If he had stayed, that years team would have been much different. Tough break for us and Monty that the pasture was greener somewhere else. Travon Baker developed into one of the best point guards we’ve had. Levi Bradley is another player that grew into his role. Went from skinny freshman to top 10 all-time scorer for niu. Could he have done better with some players, of course.

I see some of the points about the negative perception wearing all green. I guess I get it to a degree. However, many here bash no matter what. Almost the boy that cries wolf mentality. I didn’t see it as bad as some but I also dismiss the opinions of the MD’s of this board.
03-20-2019 12:42 PM
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NIU007 Online
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Post: #46
RE: Monty the Spartan
I was happy they finally could score points this year, and had guys that could hit 3s this year, after so many years of being hopeless. They just weren't consistent enough. German is one of the best players I've ever seen in an NIU basketball uniform. I'm glad he didn't transfer before now like some of his predecessors, though it would sure be nice to have him for another year.

The win over Buffalo and the tournament win over Toledo were 2 good wins. The "run" in the tournament was only 2 games though - Toledo, and a home game against a not very good Ohio team.
03-20-2019 12:44 PM
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MaddDawgz02 Offline
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Post: #47
RE: Monty the Spartan
To talk positive or negative about a coach really doesnt matter anymore anyway. We do not have an AD or financial flexibility to make any personnel moves. WYSIWYG with NIU athletics right now.
03-20-2019 01:36 PM
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jjj Offline
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Post: #48
RE: Monty the Spartan
FYI- Here is the article from the Lansing State Journal newspaper where MM says he did not listen to people about taking a head coaching job..



MM quote “Don’t just take a job to say you’re a head coach. People used to tell me and I just didn’t listen. Sometimes the job you have is a better job.”





You can hear every day of Mark Montgomery’s journey as head basketball coach at Northern Illinois in his weathered voice. The realities, the resignation, the sliver of remaining optimism fighting to peek through.

He sounds a thousand miles from his days with Michigan State’s basketball program, less than a decade ago.

Eight years is a lifetime in the Mid-American Conference. More than one lifetime usually. It’s a league that lures idealistic young coaches and spits them out, wiser and worn.

“I don’t regret leaving. I wanted to be a head coach,” Montgomery, 48, said last week, ahead of this Saturday’s Northern Illinois-MSU game at Breslin Center, his first trip back since leaving Tom Izzo’s staff in 2011. “I looked forward to running my own program and one day winning the MAC championship and getting us to the NCAA tournament.”

Montgomery’s tenure thus far in DeKalb, Illinois, has been defined by what nearly was and what could have been. He took over a program in need of an overhaul and, after two five-win seasons, won 15, 14 and then 21 games in 2015-16, before sliding back slightly the last two seasons. Among the players he’s lost: Three transfers or grad transfers to Iowa State, including Boston Celtics second-round pick Abdel Nadar, another to Minnesota (Akeem Springs), and his leading scorer and rebounder two years ago to DePaul. The epidemic of mid-major transfers and graduates moving up to high-major programs struck just as Montgomery took over at NIU.

“When you’re at a school like that, you can’t overcome that stuff,” Izzo said. “I’m proud of him because that’s been a battle for him. That’s a tough spot and it’s not a lot of money and he’s grinding it. And he’s had some pretty good players, which means they’re doing a pretty good job recruiting them, but just losing them. That’s hard.”

Montgomery is, most impressively, a survivor. Only two of the MAC’s 12 head coaches have been around longer, only one of them more than a year longer.

He serves as a continued lesson to his best friend, Dwayne Stephens, MSU’s associate head coach, who’s yet to take the leap for his own head coaching opportunity. Stephens and Montgomery played at MSU together in the late 1980s and early ’90s, played professionally on the same team overseas and then coached together under Izzo for eight of Montgomery’s 10 seasons on the staff.

FROM 2013: Full Monty: Former MSU coach, player battles his way through massive rebuilding job at Northern Illinois

“I just tell him, if you’re going to take another job, especially a head coaching job, just make sure all the the boxes are checked — good administration, good program, somewhere you can win, somewhere you can see your family being happy,” said Montgomery, who interviewed several places before the NIU offer. “Don’t just take a job to say you’re a head coach. People used to tell me and I just didn’t listen. Sometimes the job you have is a better job.”

“Once you’re at this level, you get spoiled on some things and then you take them for granted,” Stephens said. “Then you get to that (mid-major) level and, whether it’s a six- or seven-hour bus ride or not being able to charter flights and get your kids back for class the next day, to just the resources we have here, you just don’t have them at that level.”

What Stephens hears bluntly from Montgomery and from MSU assistant Mike Garland, who coached three seasons at Cleveland State, and now from new MSU advisor/recruiting coordinator Doug Wojcik, a former head coach at Tulsa and College of Charleston: “Don’t take a bad job.”
Mark Montgomery spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach on Michigan State's bench, including (pictured) the end of the 2006 first-round NCAA tournament loss to George Mason.Buy Photo

Mark Montgomery spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach on Michigan State's bench, including (pictured) the end of the 2006 first-round NCAA tournament loss to George Mason. (Photo: Rod Sanford | Lansing State Journal)

There are worse jobs than Northern Illinois. But in the hierarchy of mid-major gigs, there are a lot of places where it’s easier to win, too — where there’s more tradition, where basketball is the priority and fan intensity is more present. NIU is a football school that hasn’t sniffed the NCAA men’s basketball tournament since 1996.

“I think Monty’s done as well as he could do considering some of the hurdles he has at that level,” Stephens continued. “His teams have been very competitive, they get better (in season) every year. It’s just a matter of now he’s got to take that next step and see if he can’t get his team into the (NCAA) tournament. Because it’s tough, when you’re at that level, if you don’t get to the tournament and, being in a one-bid league, that’s kind of what you’re judged on.”

That’s the unspoken reality: Montgomery won’t get another eight years to make the NCAA tournament. He won’t get many more. No matter the challenges and legitimate excuses. The MAC is a league full of them. Eventually someone else gets a turn to try to overcome them.

“(Former MSU assistant) Stan Joplin, he won a lot of games at Toledo, but he just couldn’t win the (MAC) tournament,” Izzo said, “so he never got to the (NCAA) tournament, and eventually that’s enough.”

Montgomery’s latest team isn’t projected to get there, but is off to a 7-5 start and features a gifted junior guard in Eugene German, averaging 21 points per game.

“There are really good players at this level,” Montgomery said. “Recruits or high school players think, well, ‘I want to play in the Big Ten’ and they get shunned and they come down to our level and they’re like, ‘Holy crap. This is good basketball.’
Mark Montgomery played point guard at Michigan State from 1988 through 1992, including starting on the 1990 team that reached the Sweet 16. Here, Montgomery talks with Jud Heathcote before the Spartans' Sweet 16 game against Georgia Tech.Buy Photo

Mark Montgomery played point guard at Michigan State from 1988 through 1992, including starting on the 1990 team that reached the Sweet 16. Here, Montgomery talks with Jud Heathcote before the Spartans' Sweet 16 game against Georgia Tech. (Photo: Lansing State Journal file photo)

“One thing about this level is, I think there are more mid-major players. There’s a different pressure at Michigan State. The top 100 kids, (it’s all the top programs fighting) for those top 100 kids. At this level, we can go get another one, we can pick up a late signee, we can go get a junior-college player. We can take a transfer.

“I just didn’t think before I got here that I’d be losing kids that got better here. And you lose them to a Power 5 school via transfer or graduation. I didn’t see that coming. …Unfortunately we’re going to lose them now. Because if they graduate, we’re going to lose them.”

For Montgomery, Saturday’s game in East Lansing is part nostalgia, part opportunity, part financial necessity. NIU is getting paid to play at MSU. Izzo doesn’t like to schedule his former assistants, but he wanted to do Montgomery the favor.

“First of all, I'm thankful for the opportunity,” Montgomery said. “I want to come in and be competitive. I’m the same competitive person that I was there. I want to come in and give them a game. I want to get our guys ready for our next step and that’s the MAC season. This is a good barometer.

“I’m just thankful I can take my team somewhere I played, somewhere I coached, somewhere I can give them some history. I can tell them about myself. At the same time, I get to see some people I haven’t seen in years. Unfortunately, I haven’t been back for a basketball reunion. I haven’t been back for a football game.

"I want to see what the (Gilbert) Pavilion looks like. I want to walk on campus again. Selfishly, I want to get back. I have a lot of friends and family in that area. I also want my team to experience a big-time (venue), one of the best college basketball venues in the country, and we’re going to get a chance to play there. And that doesn’t happen every year.

https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/stor...420353002/
03-20-2019 02:09 PM
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NIU007 Online
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Post: #49
RE: Monty the Spartan
It has to be pretty galling to work with a player and just when they get good, they transfer. That's a pretty recent phenomenon, isn't it?
03-20-2019 02:48 PM
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chihuskie Offline
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Post: #50
RE: Monty the Spartan
(03-20-2019 12:42 PM)Dtownboys Wrote:  
(03-20-2019 11:38 AM)chihuskie Wrote:  
(03-20-2019 10:31 AM)klake87 Wrote:  
(03-19-2019 06:42 PM)NorthCoast Wrote:  
(03-19-2019 06:24 PM)bikechuck Wrote:  When Monty was hired and introduced as our Head Coach I was impressed and excited for the future of the program.

I wasn't. But I'm sure I was in the minority at that time. I'm not one bit surprised how Monty's tenure has played out (I'm sure I'm in the minority there as well).

I'm very curious to know what camp everyone was in at the time of his hire.

Be honest, everybody.

Why did you not like the hire? He was the top assistant coach at a basketball powerhouse school. He has mid-western ties which are needed for recruiting at a MAC level school. What negatives did you see?
SEEMED like a good hire-- but lack of Illinois specific ties and lack of head coach experience was notable. But coming off Patton-- wow! What a "great hire." In retrospect-- "big school pedigree" hid deficiencies, IMHO.

Note-- guys in his program have NEVER grown into their roles, or into their bodies. You know, just because the MAC is not a "power conference" does NOT mean you can come in undesized and weak (not mincing words) and never get appreciably stronger and never get appreciably better. Again, just my observations from afar. I have seen a lot of guys who were undersized come in and a year or two later they remain undersized. why? Do we lack strength facilities? No. What is it then ? lack of nutritional information? no. What is it then?

I credit the current crop of players. They seem to have put in the work and made the effort. But the challenge we face is scaling a mountain. And effort sufficient to scale a hill is not enough. I will look at the brightside. I will say this year we scaled the foothills. For next year, we will work HARD to be prepared to scale the mountain. Into thin air baby!

I disagree that he has never developed any player to grow in a role. Marin Maric for one developed in a solid center. If he had stayed, that years team would have been much different. Tough break for us and Monty that the pasture was greener somewhere else. Travon Baker developed into one of the best point guards we’ve had. Levi Bradley is another player that grew into his role. Went from skinny freshman to top 10 all-time scorer for niu. Could he have done better with some players, of course.

I see some of the points about the negative perception wearing all green. I guess I get it to a degree. However, many here bash no matter what. Almost the boy that cries wolf mentality. I didn’t see it as bad as some but I also dismiss the opinions of the MD’s of this board.
I think Bradley and Baker came in as good players and didn't regress. That's good. And I agree on Maric developed nicely. My comment was not that no one ever progressed. And the comment was less about developing as a player (e.g. decision making etc.) and more just as physical stature. When you come in a little undersized (not height necessarily-- but strength) you have to sit a year and lift (IMO) or just work that much harder because D1 basketball takes a lot of strength- not just dribbling and shooting. Take a look back at Michael Jordan when he came back from playing baseball. He was not the same player until he got back in the weight room and had basketball specific workouts - (or whatever he did-- but you could see it in his body-- shoulders, neck etc )
03-20-2019 05:26 PM
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prairiedawg Offline
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Post: #51
RE: Monty the Spartan
Is there a pic of this?
03-20-2019 08:50 PM
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MajorHoople Offline
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Post: #52
RE: Monty the Spartan
He could have been wearing MSU gear at the Spartan game because he is an alum.
03-21-2019 08:09 AM
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NIU17 Offline
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RE: Monty the Spartan
(03-20-2019 08:50 PM)prairiedawg Wrote:  Is there a pic of this?

[Image: fd550f0b-ee93-476b-bbe1-cfbccd2e8ed7.siz...jpg?w=1000]
03-21-2019 08:17 AM
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klake87 Offline
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Post: #54
RE: Monty the Spartan
Who cares what he wears to a MSU game. He is an Alum and also coached there. People making a big deal about nothing. Some of his comments though have merit. I think he regrets taking the NIU job. Hindsight, he should have listened to others that NIU is a sh!t job.
03-21-2019 08:45 AM
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golf4501 Offline
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Post: #55
RE: Monty the Spartan
(03-21-2019 08:45 AM)klake87 Wrote:  Who cares what he wears to a MSU game. He is an Alum and also coached there. People making a big deal about nothing. Some of his comments though have merit. I think he regrets taking the NIU job. Hindsight, he should have listened to others that NIU is a sh!t job.

If he feels it is such a **** job then he should do the school and himself a favor and resign. Instead he is collecting 300k+ a year and the school is getting mediocrity. I bet he doesn't regret it when he cashes his check, and I'm sure he had vision of grandeur when he took the job as well e.g. One NCAA tourney appearance, and he is gone to a bigger school. The lack of that, rests fully on his lack of coaching ability.
(This post was last modified: 03-21-2019 09:06 AM by golf4501.)
03-21-2019 09:05 AM
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klake87 Offline
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Post: #56
RE: Monty the Spartan
(03-21-2019 09:05 AM)golf4501 Wrote:  
(03-21-2019 08:45 AM)klake87 Wrote:  Who cares what he wears to a MSU game. He is an Alum and also coached there. People making a big deal about nothing. Some of his comments though have merit. I think he regrets taking the NIU job. Hindsight, he should have listened to others that NIU is a sh!t job.

If he feels it is such a **** job then he should do the school and himself a favor and resign. Instead he is collecting 300k+ a year and the school is getting mediocrity. I bet he doesn't regret it when he cashes his check, and I'm sure he had vision of grandeur when he took the job as well e.g. One NCAA tourney appearance, and he is gone to a bigger school. The lack of that, rests fully on his lack of coaching ability.

NIU is not a basketball powerhouse. If you were a highly sought after recruit, and you came for a visit and saw the student and fan support of 1000 then went to Toledo or Buffalo or any other MAC school and saw their game day atmosphere, you would go there. There is no magic potion that will make NIU a basketball powerhouse unless a big donor comes in and supplements the program.
03-21-2019 09:30 AM
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klake87 Offline
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Post: #57
RE: Monty the Spartan
Not trying to be a debbie downer but it has been decades since NIU has been a consistently successful program. Molinari was the last "good" coach?
03-21-2019 10:01 AM
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NIUfilmmaker Offline
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Post: #58
RE: Monty the Spartan
(03-21-2019 09:30 AM)klake87 Wrote:  
(03-21-2019 09:05 AM)golf4501 Wrote:  
(03-21-2019 08:45 AM)klake87 Wrote:  Who cares what he wears to a MSU game. He is an Alum and also coached there. People making a big deal about nothing. Some of his comments though have merit. I think he regrets taking the NIU job. Hindsight, he should have listened to others that NIU is a sh!t job.

If he feels it is such a **** job then he should do the school and himself a favor and resign. Instead he is collecting 300k+ a year and the school is getting mediocrity. I bet he doesn't regret it when he cashes his check, and I'm sure he had vision of grandeur when he took the job as well e.g. One NCAA tourney appearance, and he is gone to a bigger school. The lack of that, rests fully on his lack of coaching ability.

NIU is not a basketball powerhouse. If you were a highly sought after recruit, and you came for a visit and saw the student and fan support of 1000 then went to Toledo or Buffalo or any other MAC school and saw their game day atmosphere, you would go there. There is no magic potion that will make NIU a basketball powerhouse unless a big donor comes in and supplements the program.

We had a good game day atmosphere in the old field house. No coach has been able to inject that mojo into the Convo. Maybe the next guy....
03-21-2019 10:13 AM
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golf4501 Offline
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Post: #59
RE: Monty the Spartan
(03-21-2019 10:01 AM)klake87 Wrote:  Not trying to be a debbie downer but it has been decades since NIU has been a consistently successful program. Molinari was the last "good" coach?

Hammels was the last good coach until he got burnt out, that 1996 team could have been the start of things but players left, got hurt and it was never the same. Judson could have built something but let his beliefs get in the way of players he could have had. Patton was a disaster and it's been down hill since then.
03-21-2019 10:20 AM
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klake87 Offline
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RE: Monty the Spartan
You have to go back to '80, 81' and '82 to find three years in a row that we had over a .500 record. That was even before my time.
03-21-2019 10:42 AM
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