Dan Monson Long Beach State coach Dan Monson addresses the press at the NCAA Tournament.

The Long Beach State men’s basketball team has endured a fascinating March and it’s not done yet, perhaps to the surprise of those in charge.

The program informed head coach Dan Monson that they wouldn’t renew his contract before the 2024 Big West Tournament started. The Beach and Monson “separated” last week, but as part of the agreement, Monson continued coaching LBSU through the Big West Tournament—a tournament they ended up winning. This meant that Monson would continue coaching through the NCAA Tournament.

Monson became entrenched in a sticky situation that could have ended poorly. The team could not have been all there, knowing their head coach was departing. However, the fact that they put the pieces together to roll into the NCAA Tournament makes for quite a story, one that’s not over yet.

Best of all, Monson seems to be in good spirits about the situation, at least as much as one can be. His opening press conference comments at the NCAA Tournament’s first-round site in Salt Lake City provided a hilarious update.

“I don’t have to answer anything I don’t want to because I’m working for free today,” Monson quipped. Laughter ensued at the press conference, and the longtime college basketball coach didn’t stop there.

Monson compared his situation to one that the Seinfeld character George Costanza once encountered. Seinfeld fans may remember Costanza’s attempts to get fired from the New York Yankees.

“You guys remember when George Costanza was trying to get fired? And couldn’t lose his job? And still, going to work every day? That’s me,” Monson said.

You have to credit Monson for his approach to this situation. The way this has all happened has made for a fascinating story about Long Beach making the NCAA Tournament. The fun story may end soon, however, given that they’ll start against 2-seeded Arizona, one of the best teams in the nation.

But when you’re not supposed to be there, you don’t have anything to lose. Dan Monson has nothing to lose either, which was evident by the way he attacked the press conference. We only wonder if he’ll commemorate the press conference one day as well.

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022