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Dan Monson: Next Cougar Coach?
Written by magic   
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 08:09

Dan Monson was interviewed on KJR/KGA this morning, and the conversation spurred me to think: could Monson be the next WSU coach?

Assume for a minute that Tony Bennet isn't going to the the Cougs coach five years from now.  Sometime between now and then, there's a realistic chance he'll move on.  I am convinced that we'll be hearing Dan Monson's name in the mix whenever the time comes for Tony to move on.  

So who is Dan Monson?  


The son of Oregon coach Don Monson, Dan is a Spokane native who basically grew the Gonzaga program from nothing, before handing the keys to Mark Few.  After memorably leading the Zags to the Elite Eight in 1999, he left for the "big time" job at Minnesota, and had moderate success in rebuilding that program: one NCAA tourament and four NIT berths in seven seasons.   

By his own account he went to Minnesota for the "wrong reasons," such as money and to coach in a major conference.  He found the program was a huge mess due to academic scandals, and regretted leaving Gonzaga and his hometown of Spokane.  

After his first three seasons at Minnesota, the Huskies offered him their job (which later went to Lorenzo Romar), and he declined-- citing a sense of commitment to his players.  But in the interview, he cited this has his biggest regrest-- even more than that of leaving Gonzaga.  He said he should've taken it to be closer to family and back in the Pac-10.

In 2006, he resigned and took over the reigns at Long Beach State, where it seems he's spinning his magic again.  After a 6-25 first season there, Monson currently has his team at 12-10, 7-3 in conference, and first in the Big West.  As it stands, they're looking like a fringe tournament team.

Monson picking up for Tony Bennet makes a lot of sense:

  • ¬†Monson has a track record of working with limited resources, as demonstrated at Gonzaga and Long Beach State.¬†
  • Monson has experience and decent results competing in a major conference (despite the program's obsticles)
  • Monson is a Spokane native and has family there
  • Monson has Pac-10 ties-- his dad coached Oregon for nine seasons
  • Monson regrets not taking the Washington job, backfilling for TB would allow him to right that wrong
  • The Cougs could pay him, as sustaining the hoops program will undoubtedly be key priority when TB moves on.

 So I'm calling it right now, on February 11, 2009:  

Dan Monson will be the next WSU Cougars Head basketball Coach. 


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Comments (2)
I like it
1 Wednesday, 11 February 2009 14:21
I dig the thinking magic. I've got another name for you to ponder. What about Ken Bone? He's done a great job at Portland State. He's got great in-state ties and runs a sort of "system" program like we do. Either way, I think TB is here for the next two seasons. Hopefully Sterk will continue to invest in the program so it's really attractive by the time TB does take off.
2 Thursday, 12 February 2009 19:00
I caught that interview and left very impressed with Monson. His words were not that he resigned from Minn, but was fired; I couldn't help but be impressed by Dan's honesty and openness regarding such a difficult issue. I think if he does well this year, he'll be targeted by a good mid-major and best of luck to him. I like the idea of Ken Bone and not just because of his wicked sweet last name.

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