Jerry Montgomery Leaves the Beyonce Spot

Submitted by Seth on February 24th, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Fuller - DSC_0896

Michigan's defensive line coaching staff. Bryan Fuller|MGoBlog (Title Reference)

There's never been a better time to start in life. It ain't too early and it aint too late!
Starting as a farmer with a brand new wife. Still be living in a brand-new state!
Brand new state- Gonna treat you great!

OOOOOOKLAHOMA! Coaches at large schools have done well to be entering their third year at the helm with their own jobs intact. To get that far with all of your coordinators means taking out several mortgages with every deity who still accepts sacrifices. You do poorly, can a coordinator. Do well, your best guys are instantly on the short list for whichever second-rate SEC school fired Houston Nutt this week. Do… well there isn't a middle ground is there?

So it is with great remarkability that I announce that the staff Brady Hoke arrived with in 2011 has finally had its first defection. Jerry Montgomery, a guy who's a few months older than me and a few months younger than Brian, is leaving the job he shares with the guy he reports to, and the guy that guy reports to, in order to actually coach defensive linemen at Oklahoma. This was an inevitable move once the soul patch became a full-grown beard and "knows what Adult Swim is" ceased being relevant to a generation of recruits who don't even realize robot Optimus Prime is supposed to look like a truck.

Gonna buy you barley, carrots and pertaters,
pasture for the cattle, spinich and termaters,
Flowers on the prarie where the June bugs zoom,
Plen'y of air and plen'y of room, Plen'y of room to swing a rope!
Plen'y of heart and plen'y of hope.

OOOOOOKLAHOMA! Montgomery did in fact prove himself adept at connecting with recruits on a football level. Whereas in 2012 many of the big Ohio recruits were in Mattison's western territory, Montgomery is the guy who in 2013 cracked open Pickering/Columbus and did his part in reeling in a five-star running back. For this, that, and the other reason it was coming time for him to go somewhere where he isn't just [the young guy on staff who's there to relate to the kids, aka…] the Beyonce.

Down in Oklahoma, Josh Heupel has dreamy eyes and probably knows what it's like to get in trouble for texting during class, something neither I nor Montgomery can relate to. Jerry is moving up, even if the school is a step down (to us) or sideways (to everyone else). He's coached DL under Hoke and Mattison and now he'll add Stoops to his resume, and in three or five years somebody will see if he knows how to run a defense. This wasn't Stoops coming in with a magic potion, nor did ol' Jud ride in on his fancy wagon to outbid another Big Ten team for its favorite up-and-comer. It's the way things go.

The rest of the staff is expected to be here awhile, or at least until Fred Jackson decides it's time to hold an event like the Olympics but more athletic to determine whether Hart or Wheatley's the more worthy successor. Michigan now has an opening for an assistant coach who knows what it feels like when Instagram deletes all your photos to cover a nominal position and stop by Ann Arbor every few weeks to deliver a batch of LOIs. In this day and age it's crucial to have at least one guy on staff who doesn't know the words to Oklahoma.

OOOOOklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain!



February 24th, 2013 at 6:48 PM ^

Take a look at Bo's roster of assistants from year to year, and you'll see changes happened with some regularity. Put it this way: if your head coach is never losing assistants to other top-level programs, that's actually not a good thing.


February 24th, 2013 at 10:04 PM ^

Bo had a bunch of assistants who later became head coaches (link), but our last two coaches have not done as well at this. I don't (cough cough) remember the name of the last coach (cough cough), but Lloyd Carr's staff just didn't produce as many head coaches as Bo's did. The only two I can think of (and I may be missing some) are Ron English and Mike DeBord.

Assuming that Hoke keeps hiring great assistant coaches, I think it's great. 

Michigan Eaglet

February 24th, 2013 at 6:55 PM ^

Good Luck to him. I wish him nothing but the best. I also read somewhere that he spoke with all of the current 2014 commits and told them he will not recruit them while at Oklahoma. He has a lot of class and I respect him as a man.

Michigan Eaglet

February 24th, 2013 at 7:23 PM ^

It was passed on to me from someone reliable, so I'm not sure which site they got it from, but he was talking about the commits Ferns, Speight, and Mone, not all the other kids that Michigan has offered for this class. I think that would be a bit too much to ask him not to recruit any other kid that Michigan had interest in or offered a scholarship to, especially when he's going to another big BCS school.


February 24th, 2013 at 7:47 PM ^

If not, he doesn't deserve to be there. 

I spent a good few of my formative years down the road from Norman. There are worse places to be, and they take their football seriously down there. Good luck, Coach!


February 25th, 2013 at 8:52 AM ^

Well if Montgomery isn't going to recruit any player at Oklahoma that he also recruited at Michigan, then you would have to prove specifically Jerry Montgomery recruited Andrew Williams while at Michigan and not some other Michigan coach.  I think the point is that it is wrong for Michigan to devote resources (capital) for Montgomery to establish a working relationship with a recruit only for him to use that time and capital to turn the recruit over to Oklahoma.


February 24th, 2013 at 7:35 PM ^

And two of them were Michigan and Michigan State (who also lost a coach)?

And Hart might have an open spot now that Wheatley is coaching running backs in the NFL. The pay cut for the same duties might be more than Michigan can overcome. Unless there's additionally responsibilities thrown in. And I don't think Hoke was here with either of them.


February 24th, 2013 at 7:55 PM ^

It's good to see that our coaches can be highly coveted.  Hopefully one day we can remark on what a big coaching tree Hoke has produced.  Hate to see people go, but Bo flirted with Texas A&M and Hoke once left to go coach in the MAC.  These guys have to do what's best for their careers and their families.  Best of luck to Montgomery. 


February 24th, 2013 at 7:58 PM ^

An ESSENTIAL skill to being a great leader is being great at attracting and hiring talent.  Why?  Because while you'll have your share of loyalists, your staff WILL get poached.  (Hoke brought in Mattison, so we should be OK.)

Left my last job to work a crappy job for the sole reason that my new manager is awesome.  In the ten months I've been here he's already had 10% of his team poached.


By his superiors.


February 24th, 2013 at 8:02 PM ^

I don't understand why Montogomery is in the Beyonce spot.  This isn't a complaint about the writing style, just a herm-like comment on my own lack of understanding of pop culture, but given how famous, rich, and successful Beyonce is, I'd think a position coach would *want* to be in the Beyonce spot.


February 24th, 2013 at 9:16 PM ^

It was originally linked later in the article (the soul patch). I've added the (Title Reference) thing to the photo caption, and also explained what I mean again in the article, since a 145-and-counting-post thread on how some people hate having to google references has since cropped up.

eamus_caeruli (not verified)

February 24th, 2013 at 10:26 PM ^

If you have to explain sarcasm or a joke more than once, it's a construct of your own inner dialogue, and not a take on contemporary mores. This post failed on many levels, most especially since this was reported more than 24 hours ago, and rather than just providing analysis or a "take", you went to places most won't understand and frankly "doesn't not compute" land.

I really think you, Brian and others need to step back and realize your personal jokes and dialog will alienate people and rather than a site with massive traffic, people will find the next best thing.

I am 33, a former teacher who "gets" pop culture, yet I didn't get 90% of what you were going for here. I am sort getting why the board made a post about front page content now.


February 25th, 2013 at 8:59 AM ^

Wow. The board is full of Statlers and Waldorfs today except these ones aren't funny.  , exey,  I think most Michigan grads/fans come to mgoblog for the wit and humor. There are plenty of venues to get dry humorless posts and you can go there as you please.


February 24th, 2013 at 8:39 PM ^

Yeah, what exactly does it mean to be "the Beyonce?" That either makes no sense or is horribly patronizing and/or offensive. I'm interested to hear what you really mean by it.


February 24th, 2013 at 8:52 PM ^

Disappointed (selfishly, because he's a good recruiter and I like what the line is doing) but not surprised. When this broke some comments in the thread expressed some surprise that this was a lateral move... But it's not.

Not only are his two superiors active D-line coaches who get much of the credit, but they actually do a lot of the work. Montgomery wasn't "the man" for the D-Line. He was one of them, yes, but when the D-Line warmed up for games, Coach Hoke was right there in his old spot yelling and exhorting and directing.

That's not to say that it wasn't a good working situation for Montgomery, but it's not hard to see that the "same" position at Oklahoma really involves more responsibility and accountability with less direct involvement from superiors.

If you were doing a job you loved, but your boss happened to be really good at what you did and did a fair amount of the work (and deservedly received a lot of the credit), and you liked the boss but wanted to work more independently with less of a net and could make as much or more money, wouldn't you consider a jump?

True Blue Grit

February 25th, 2013 at 9:38 AM ^

wanting to go somewhere where he wasn't under the shadow of two other prominent DL coaches is spot on, and probably the major reason he took a lateral move to coach at OK.  It hurts to lose a good recruiting DL coach, especially when we're after some prominent players at this position for 2014.  But, over the last 35 years, many Michigan assistants have come and gone under Coaches Bo, Moeller, and Carr.  This will give Coach Hoke an opportunity to replace him with someone just as good or better.  


February 24th, 2013 at 9:45 PM ^

you know he could deliver a stack of LOI's(he believes hard, graduated a living legend, and had a cup of coffee in the can't buy that credibility) but is he better off moving up the food chain at a low-pressure place like EMU, or getting his foot in the door on his dream staff where upward mobility is going to be limited and competitive?


February 24th, 2013 at 10:12 PM ^

thanks for  a great 2 years.

defensive line showed great improvement under the hoke/mattison/montgomery team.

recruiting has been very good and i think montgomery more than pulled his own weight!

great success in OK- hopefully he never steals a michigan recruit or wins a game against the wolverines.


February 25th, 2013 at 1:52 AM ^

Good luck in Oklahoma, coach, and thanks for helping the program get back to its winning ways. As for The Team, I hope they see this as an opportunity to fill his shoes with someone with impeccable credentials. This can be a good opportunity.

Rusty Knuckles

February 25th, 2013 at 3:37 AM ^

I think Brady Hoke is a way better coach having had stints at Ball State and SDSU.  It is invaluable to experience and learn how different places, systems and leagues do things and then bring that knowledge back home.  If Brady would have stayed at Michigan as an assistant this whole time (and not fired by RichRod), he wouldn't be as successful as he is/ will be.

I feel at times near the end of Lloyd's tenure Michigan was subject to "groupthink".  A lot of the issues I had with the staff was due to doing things a certain way because "we've always done it that way."  Shirley Jackson style.  Montgomery, if he ever comes back as a DC or head coach here or wherever he goes, will be better off with multiple mentors/ experinces.  And I hope he does come back at some point.

The Beyonce thing is a PC way to say we need a young black coach somewhere on the staff to relate and "get" kids we are recruiting.  Baccari Alexander is a very good coach regardless of race or age, but it does help in bringing kids in not just to see a bunch of old white guys.

I would recommend getting as much perspective as possible in any walk of life you may be in.  It makes you appreciate Michigan that much more.


February 25th, 2013 at 7:31 AM ^

can we please please please get dashawn hand..


i saw he mentioned talking to mattison and montgomery. i just hope this doesnt reduce his liking of michigan. dashawn hand will be a great piece to the puzzle called national championships here at michigan

hoke ...lets get him!


February 25th, 2013 at 8:20 AM ^

Disppointing to see such an important cog in our defensive staff moving on, but I agree with the general sentiment here that if other teams aren't trying to poach your assitant coaches, you're not doing a good job of hiring and developing your staff.

Hoke and Mattison found Jerry Montgomery, they'll find another qualified, young coach to fill his spot.  Mattison's performance so far has earned him my utmost confidence.

Best of luck to Coach Montgomery and his family and perhaps we'll see you again on our sideline someday.


February 25th, 2013 at 9:00 AM ^

I think it's good that Montgomery left.  At Michigan, the university encourages students to study abroad as well as pursue their graduate educations at universities that aren't Michigan.  The reason is because we see the value in leaning different methods for solving problems.  Michigan knows it isn't perfect and so it's important to see how other people do things better and worse than Michigan so you can encorporate the best of what others do in your own work.

I think what Jerry Montgomery learns at Oklahoma will ultimately help him become a better coach and a better advisor and example for young athletes.  We just need to maintain that he will always be a Michigan Man.


February 25th, 2013 at 9:50 AM ^

I wonder if the Hoke to the NFL rumor actually was twisted by the internet and BCS coaches had caught wind of OU's offer to Montgomery.  The Michigan coach rumor was in fact about Montgomery leaving and that's what someone told Da'Shawn Hand.

Nick Sparks

February 25th, 2013 at 11:39 AM ^


Could the Montgomery thing turn out a plus for us?

I mean yes it's never a good thing to lose a 1st tier dline coach, but it doesn't reflect poorly on Michigan with the Hoke/Mattison shadow looming. 

I remember seeing a post in another thread on how we might pick up a LB coach and just let the old guys continue to churn out NFL prospects. I'd think we could pick up a young 1st tier coach looking to really shine - maybe Ray Lewis (99.9% kidding).



February 25th, 2013 at 2:32 PM ^

The next hire should probably get the job in the Rhianna spot, at the very least. I mean, Beyonce is now a mom who lip-sync's at inaugurations and Super Bowl halftime shows. Do  the kids these days think those things are hip?