Jerry Montgomery viewed as good fit for OU football staff
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
2/27/13 at 4:22 AM
NORMAN - Jerry Montgomery won't be shy about blasting Drake or Lil Wayne on his iPod around the Switzer Center.
Oklahoma's new defensive line coach may not play music that's the first choice of older-generation fans and coaches.
But to today's kids - especially those recruits needed at OU - the 33-year-old likely will fit in just fine.
Montgomery was officially introduced as a member of the Sooners' staff on Tuesday afternoon. He spent the previous two seasons as Michigan's defensive line coach.
Montgomery replaces Jackie Shipp, who was named Arizona State's defensive line coach hours before the Oklahoma announcement.
Montgomery injects youth into the coaching staff. He is 17 years younger than Shipp and now the youngest member on Stoops' staff.
"I'm probably the only coach on the staff that listens to what (players) listen to," Montgomery said about his choice of music. "At the same time, it's about building a relationship with your players and getting those guys to play for you. When they know that you care about them, they'll do just about anything for you."
Montgomery's career path has rocketed. After a four-year career at Iowa (1998-2001), he went from student coach at Iowa (2002) to Iowa City West High School (2002-04), North Iowa C.C. (2005), Northern Iowa (2006-08), Wyoming (2009-10) and Michigan (2011-12).
"Jerry Montgomery is a talented coach who further strengthens our staff at the University of Oklahoma," Bob Stoops said in a statement. "I have closely followed Jerry's progress as he has ascended through the coaching ranks. I have been impressed by his ability to recruit some of the nation's top student-athletes and then develop their skills once they arrive on campus. We are excited to have Jerry and his family join the Sooners."
Nothing has come easily for Montgomery, said Lee Leslie, the OU assistant's high school coach. Everything was hard-earned.
"He was the kid that was never supposed to make it and not have a prayer," Leslie said on Tuesday night. "He kept pinning his ears back and moving forward. Doors would open for Jerry.
"I'm most impressed that he's turned into such an amazing leader as a man."
Montgomery had a rough childhood. At times, Leslie said, Montgomery didn't have a nickel in his pocket. But the Salt Lake City community embraced him.
"He was a young black kid in basically a white society and he fit in," Leslie said. "Everybody loved him."
Montgomery's personality appears to have aided him greatly in recruiting. According to Rivals.com, Montgomery helped recruit five-star running back Derrick Green and the nation's fifth-best defensive tackle Henry Poggi to Michigan earlier this month.
Building trust with recruits is essential, Montgomery said.
"One thing I do is I shoot kids straight and communicate with them," Montgomery said. "They know where I stand and hopefully they let me know where they stand."
What does he plan to bring to OU?
"Just high energy and (enthusiasm)," he said. "Recruit my butt off and coach my butt off and represent OU."
Montgomery joins offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh as new additions to the OU staff. There remains one vacant position.
The Sooners begin spring drills on March 6.
High School: Virgin Valley High School (Mesquite, Nevada)
College: Iowa (1998-2001)
Coaching experience: Iowa (2002, student coach); Iowa City High School (2002-04, assistant); North Iowa C.C. (2005, defensive coordinator); Northern Iowa (2006, graduate assistant, and 2007-08, defensive line); Wyoming (2009-10, defensive line); Michigan (2011-12, defensive line).
Family: Wife, Natalie; daughter, Talayla; sons Jayden, Tevyn and Jace.
Original Print Headline: Coach seen as good fit for OU
Eric Bailey 918-581-8391