April 23, 2008
BERKELEY - New University of California men's basketball coach Mike Montgomery announced Wednesday that he has completed his staff with the hiring of Jay John and Travis DeCuire as assistant coaches. Gregg Gottlieb, who served as an assistant for the Golden Bears last season, will remain in the same capacity with the program.
"I wanted to get a blend of guys who are really fit to do the job and represent this university the way we want to," Montgomery said. "They give us a great blend of experience and youth, people who understand the league and where we need to improve. I'm very pleased that I was able to put this group together, and I'm excited for the opportunity to work with them."
John brings 25 years of experience to the coaching staff, including over five seasons as head coach at Oregon State and six additional seasons as an assistant coach in the Pac-10. Most recently, he was 72-97 while leading Oregon State teams from 2002-08. In 2005, he directed the Beavers to the National Invitation Tournament, compiling a 17-15 mark, for the program's first postseason berth and winning record in 15 years. John won 66 games during his first five seasons in Corvallis, the most for an OSU coach in a five-year stretch since 1988-93.
John previously spent 15 seasons as an assistant coach at the Division I level, including four years under Lute Olson at Arizona. He was also on staff at Oregon for two stints (1984-85 and '97-98), with additional stops at San Francisco in 1988-89 and Butler from 1989-97.
While at Arizona from 1998-02, John helped the Wildcats to four NCAA Tournaments and the 2001 national championship game. Arizona was ranked in the Top 12 at the end of each season during his tenure, and John was rated No. 1 by Hoop Scoop in its top 25 assistant coaches poll. John earlier worked under Barry Collier at Butler, where he helped the Bulldogs to the 1997 NCAA Tournament, a first for the school in 35 years.
John also coached at Jamestown Community College in New York as an assistant from 1983-85 and head coach from 1986-88. He guided JCC to a two-year mark of 41-19 and was named the conference's coach of the year in his first season.
A 1981 graduate of Arizona with a degree in biology, John earned a master's degree from Butler in 1994.
DeCuire, a former standout player at Montana, comes to Cal after spending the past five years at Old Dominion under Blaine Taylor. The Monarchs were a combined 117-53 during his time at the school, reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2005 and '07, the NIT semifinals in 2006 and the College Basketball Invitational quarterfinals this past season.
DeCuire previously had two successful years as head coach at Green River Community College in Seattle, Wash. He took a last-place program to the conference championship and was named the conference coach of the year after his second season. DeCuire earlier served as head coach at Sammamish HS in Bellevue, Wash., leading the school to two conference titles and a state tournament appearance.
As a player, DeCuire played point guard for Montana from 1991-94 and earned All-Big Sky honors his junior and senior years. In addition to being a two-time team MVP, he set the school's all-time assist record with 435 and the single-season mark with 199 assists in 1993-94.
DeCuire graduated from Montana in 1994 with a degree in business marketing.