University of Wyoming head football coach Dave Christensen announced on Tuesday that Jerry Montgomery has been hired as the Cowboys’ new defensive line coach.
Montgomery comes to Wyoming from the University of Northern Iowa where he helped guide the Panthers to the semifinals of this year’s NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs.
He coached the UNI defensive line the past three seasons. In 2008, the Panthers posted a 12-3 record before losing by one point, 20-21, in the FCS national semifinals to Richmond. Northern Iowa shared the 2008 Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) title with a 7-1 league mark, and was ranked No. 4 in both of the most recent FCS national football polls.
“Jerry Montgomery is unbelievable in building relationships with his players,” said Christensen. “Jerry is an intense coach, and he gets his players to play extremely hard. He has done a great job recruiting, and is an excellent evaluator of talent. Jerry, himself, was an outstanding player at the University of Iowa. He came very highly recommended by the Iowa coaching staff, whom he played for, and by everyone else he has worked with. I’m really, really excited to have him as part of my staff at Wyoming.”
“This is a great opportunity for me and my family to be able to come to an outstanding school like the University of Wyoming,” said Montgomery. “I’m excited to come to Wyoming, because I know from looking at the history of this school that we can win here. From what I’ve seen already, we have kids in place here who are quality players. We are now working at bringing in additional kids who can help us get better. The facilities are great, and that will only help our recruiting. I can’t wait to get started.”
Montgomery had three of his defensive linemen earn All-MVFC honors in 2008, including junior defensive end James Ruffin, who was voted the conference Defensive Player of the Year. Joining Ruffin on the MVFC First Team was senior defensive tackle Everette Pedescleaux. Senior defensive end Jeremy Robertson earned Second Team All-Conference honors.
The 2008 UNI defense ranked No. 10 among all FCS teams in the nation in scoring defense, giving up only 17.7 points per game. Northern Iowa was No. 20 in the nation in rushing defense, allowing only 107.1 yards per game. The Panthers also ranked No. 23 in total defense (310.1 ypg) and No. 30 in pass defense efficiency (114.6 rating).
In 2007, UNI was 12-1, entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA FCS Playoffs before losing to Delaware, 27-39. Northern Iowa concluded the 2007 season ranked No. 4 in the final Sports Network poll and No. 5 in the final CollegeSportingNews.com/AFCA poll. They ranked No. 7 in the nation in scoring defense (16.9 points per game), No. 11 in total defense (303.9 yards per game), No. 6 in rushing defense (91.0 ypg) and No. 29 in pass efficiency defense (114.8 rating). He had three defensive linemen earn All-Gateway Conference honors. Ruffin was a First Team selection. Mark Huygens was a Second Team honoree, and Jordan Lacy received Honorable Mention honors.
As a graduate assistant coach in 2006 at UNI, Montgomery coached the defensive line led by Second Team All-Conference selections Huygens and Lacy.
Prior to coaching at Northern Iowa, he was the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at North Iowa Area Community College for the 2005 season. He also coached at Iowa City West High School for the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Montgomery was a three-year starter as a defensive tackle at the University of Iowa from 1998-2001. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies in 2002.
Following his college playing career, the Mesquite, Nev., native went to camp with the New Orleans Saints of the NFL in 2002. He later played in the Arena Football League with the Chicago Rush, Colorado Crush and Las Vegas Gladiators from 2003-2005.
He played his high school football at Virgin Valley High School in Mesquite, Nev., where he was the Nevada State Player of the Year in 1997.
Montgomery is 29 years old -- born April 19, 1979. He and his wife Natalie have two sons, Jayden and Tevyn.
Other members of Christensen’s first coaching staff at Wyoming that were announced by the head coach at a Dec. 8 press conference are: Marty English, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers; Mike Fanoga, Outside Linebackers; Alex Grinch, Secondary; Jim Harding, Tight Ends; and Jason Ray, Running Backs. Coaching positions yet to be announced are: offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach and offensive line coach.