Detroit Mercy hires ex-Northern Illinois coach Mark Montgomery off Izzo's staff at Michigan State

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit Mercy has hired former Northern Illinois coach Mark Montgomery off Tom Izzo's staff at Michigan State.

The Horizon League school announced the move on Wednesday, nearly a month after parting ways with coach Mike Davis.

Northern Illinois earned a share of a Mid-American Conference division title in 2020 under Montgomery and fired him a year later with a 1-7 record during the pandemic-shortened season, leading to a short stint on Davis' staff at Detroit.

Montgomery was 124-170, including 21 wins during the 2015-16 season, and 63-98 in the MAC over nine-plus seasons with the Huskies.

Montgomery was on Izzo's staff the last three years and was also an assistant for him from 2001 to 2011.

“He is one of the best and brightest coaches I’ve worked with during my career,” Izzo said.

Montgomery, who is from Inkster, Michigan, just outside of Detroit, was a four-year starter at point guard for the Spartans from 1988 to 1992 for the late Jud Heathcote while Izzo was an assistant.

“Growing up in the area, you heard about the history of the university, the great players, the atmosphere and historic Calihan Hall," Montgomery said. "Those teams were nationally known and they played the best and beat the best. I am so honored and humbled to lead the program back to where it was.”

The Titans are 6-3 in NCAA Tournaments.

They won opening-round games under coach Ray McCallum in 2012, with Perry Watson in two straight appearances in the late 1990s and in 1977 with future broadcaster Dick Vitale, whose name was put on the court more than a decade ago.

Detroit Mercy and Davis “mutually agreed to part ways” two days after the Titans finished 1-13 after starting the season with 26 straight losses. His departure came a year after his son, Antoine, came four points shy of breaking Pete Maravich’s NCAA men’s Division I scoring record of 3,667 points.


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