Oklahoma announced today that Co-DC/DL coach (and former Michigan DL coach) Jerry Montgomery is leaving for an NFL job. Another post-Signing Day move, but this one seems pretty surprising.
This will now make the 4th assistant coaching change for Oklahoma this year. A lot of staff turnover and changes for Bob Stoops this year.
Jerry Montgomery's departure to the NFL means the only positions at #OU that won't have new coaches from 2014 are O-line & ILBs.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 10, 2015
A lot has been made on the board lately about the struggles of the Michigan defensive line. My question is about disbursement of coaches and how it impacts player development. When Jerry Montgomery left for Oklahoma we hired Roy Manning to coach linebackers and the joke was consistent prior to Montgomery leaving that he was in the Beyonce coaching position. However, with Mattison have DC responsibilities and Hoke having HC responsibilities and no dedicated D-Line coach are those players getting enough individual or position group attention to develop like other positions or am I overthinking the importance of having dedicated position coaches?
Football salaries were released today for Oklahoma when they went for approval to Board of Regents. Jerry Montgomery got a pretty sizable deal making $325,000 per year--making him the highest paid non-coordinator assistant on the staff (4th highest behind Mike Stoops, Josh Heupel, and Jay Norvell)
Here's an interesting Rivals article (link). Highlights!
- Obviously: OSU and Michigan have the best recruiters. You probably know all about Michigan's body of work, but OSU was admittedly impressive in Texas and Georgia. They secured the #1 Texan and took a 4 star running back wanted by Texas/Oregon. They also beat out 'Bama and Georgia for a 5 star Georgian linebacker.
- Also expected: Fred Jackson's recruiting prowess in Detroit is like Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin, but cleaner (This is almost not an exaggeration.)
- Greg Mattison's work all over the country gets mentioned. He's credited for securing Poggi from the Crimson Temptress, but you probably knew that already.
- I think Indiana's continued recruiting successes are the most noteworthy. They pulled a couple 4 star prospects from the Hoosier State--but also a 4 star out of Georgia. Indy raiding the SEC is pretty wild.
- Jerry Montgomery didn't make the list. These things probably vary by year, and I don't think it's a strong indication of anything in particular, but it's a relevant omission for Michigan fans.
- Frosting should come in two varieties: Chuck E. Cheese-style and the kind made with cream cheese. Also, all pie crusts should be made of graham crackers.
Brady Hoke released the following statement last night:
"We appreciate the work Jerry did in his two seasons here with the defensive ends and continuing to help build the foundation on our defensive line," he said. "We wish Jerry, Natalie and their entire family nothing but the best. "You always hate to lose members of your staff, but you know going in that at a program like Michigan, other schools and NFL teams are going to come after them. However, I am confident that we will name a new coach who fits in very well with our staff soon."
FWIW, here's Bob Stoops' statement (Jerry Montgomery video interview as well):
"Jerry Montgomery is a talented coach who further strengthens our staff at the University of Oklahoma," Stoops said. "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."
"It's truly a privilege to join the University of Oklahoma," said Montgomery. "Coach Stoops and his staff have an unbelievable reputation in the coaching community, and I'm excited to get to work with them. I'm very appreciative that I was able to work with Coach Hoke and our student-athletes at the University of Michigan. There were very few situations that could have convinced me to leave Ann Arbor, but the opportunity to join Coach Stoops and a storied program like the University of Oklahoma was one of them."
For information enthusiasts:
Might as well use this thread as today's open discussion on possible replacements. Maybe today's the day that rumors start swirling? I'd have to think that they'd name a replacement by Monday.
I returned home from vacation today and was surprised to see that [DL Coach Jerry] Montgomery had gone to Oklahoma. This is surprising, because it really represents Hoke's first failure in the "always be closing Michigan" department. Let me explain.
Brian started the "Brady Hoke poops gold" meme in the first few months of the hire. I always thought that was an unnecessarily crude way of saying that the man is a walking intangible - people skills, emotional intelligence, command organization and structure, leadership - traits that can benefit a football coach more than running a whiz-bang offense. In fact, I believe the original intent of the meme was to be a backhanded way of praising the "Profiles in Cronyism" subject, but I digress...
The point is that Hoke is what he is, and what he is a Michigan salesman extraordinaire. His intangible attributes as a football coach also translate directly into recruiting, which is basically sales. This means he has had the opportunity to sell Michigan not just to 18 year old kids, but also to some already established targets. So far, here is who he has been able to close:
1 - Denard Robinson. For better or worse the decision was made to make sure Denard, stayed a Michigan man. The upside being roster continuity and a running game, the downside being the clumsy Power Spread N' Bland of the first half of last season. We all know how Molk and others affected the transition, but at the end of the day it has to come from the head coach. Hoke delivered. He was able to connect to Denard. He oversaw a transition almost free of malcontent by ensuring the biggest question mark became the biggest exclamation point.
2 - Greg Mattison. There are still some commenters who question Hoke's long term prospects at the helm; but praise for Mattison is universal. Though Mattison already had a history with the staff, and ties to the area, Hoke still had to seal the deal. Bringing in an established NFL D-Coordinator to oversee a worst-to-first one year turnaround is probably Brady Hoke's biggest off the field achievement yet.
3 - Morris, Greene, et al. Hoke, though he may not do it himself, has overseen three solid recruiting classes. The transition class didn't turn to mush, even with the huge change in styles; and the last two classes have been national top ten efforts. Not too much more to say here except for the fact that there is praise among all recruits regarding the staff's honesty and upfrontness. Again, organization culture is driven from the top down, tears or no.
4 - Taylor Lewan. This is the biggest player coup. Having a first round left tackle come back for his senior year is tremendous because obviously. (I always like to think about the possibilities that Lewan necessarily feels next year's team can achieve. He is the ultimate insider going all in.) While nobody knows the exact nature of the conversations between Hoke and Lewan, it must be assumed that Hoke was trying to get the stud left tackle to return. In the press conference, Hoke made mention of "the pride of the position" and that "they always seemed to come back for their senior years" (paraphrasing). That Hoke used the word pride is not surprising. What is noteworthy was that Hoke figured out which buttons to press, and was able to press them in a subtle enough way to not evoke an reaction opposite of that intended.
This is a master? Perhaps. He certainly sells well. Now we have the first "No". What does the departure mean? It means Montgomery is an up and coming coach who is a nationally recognized recruiter. The way I see it, tradition, prestige, program upside, likelihood of success, and even climate are all arguably a wash. Compensation was competitive. I think it means that Stoops was able to offer Montgomery something that Hoke could not. Maybe it was a promise of a promotion soon. Maybe it was the ability to recruit more better players due to Oklahoma being on one side of an imaginary line while Michigan is on the other.
Whatever the case, Montgomery would not be the first assistant to return if it works out that way; and I have faith in Hoke to find the next piece that will result in good things. Remember, the expectation is for the (assistant) position. Go Blue.