Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

February 27, 2013

Michigan's Montgomery to coach Oklahoma linemen

NORMAN — Jerry Montgomery has been hired to coach Oklahoma's defensive linemen after being in charge of the same position at Michigan for the past two seasons.

Coach Bob Stoops announced Montgomery's hiring Tuesday night, saying he is impressed by Montgomery's ability to recruit top players and develop their skills. The Wolverines were among the top 15 teams in the nation in total defense the past two seasons.

"It's truly a privilege to join the University of Oklahoma," Montgomery said in a statement. "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 (Brady) 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."

The Sooners parted ways with three of their line coaches — two on the offensive side and one on defense — after finishing 10-3 for the second straight season. Montgomery replaces Jackie Shipp, who had been a member of Stoops' staff since his first season at Oklahoma in 1999. Shipp was hired Tuesday at Arizona State.

Montgomery, 33, is the youngest member of Stoops' coaching staff. He said he may be the only assistant that listens to the same music as the players. A former defensive tackle at Iowa, Montgomery has also previously been an assistant coach at Wyoming and Northern Iowa.

"I'm a teacher first. To me, it's about technique and fundamentals," he said in an interview with the university's Sooner Sports TV. "At the end of the day, if things are going bad, if you go and look at those things, it's probably because you're doing something wrong with your technique and fundamentals. ... If you do something wrong, I'm not going to yell at you. I'm going to teach you to do it better. If you do something right — like I said, I'm high energy and I'm going to be all over you."

Hoke issued a statement thanking Montgomery and wishing him well at Oklahoma.

"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," Hoke said. "However, I am confident that we will name a new coach who fits in very well with our staff soon."

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