Michigan Wolverines co-defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery has accepted the same position with the Oklahoma Sooners, as first reported by Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.
Montgomery had shared the title with head coach Brady Hoke and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison over the last two seasons.
This leaves Michigan in a bit of a pickle heading into spring practice, which is set to begin on March 16. Hoke and Co. need to find a replacement relatively quick, and now that we’re nearly two months deep into the off-season, I’m sure they would prefer to hire in-house.
However, there isn’t a name that really jumps off the staff roster (defensive graduate assistant coach Ernie Lawson would be the only sensible option).
So what’re their outside options?
One big name would be former Illinois Fighting Illini coach Ron Zook, who spent his entire pre-head coaching career as a defensive assistant for various schools and NFL organizations – he even held the DC position with the New Orleans Saints in 2004.
A more realistic alternative would be former Michigan State Spartans defensive line coach Ted Gill, whose contract was not renewed for 2013. Although he worked with the Wolverines’ “Little Brother” for nine years, he would be a great pickup, given the circumstances.
Another route could be, well, nothing. The duo of Hoke and Mattison could be enough to handle the vacant position, at least for one season.
Either way, Michigan is losing an up-and-coming coach that is quickly moving through the ranks.
A defensive tackle for the Iowa Hawkeyes from 1999-2002, Montgomery spent a few seasons as a graduate assistant in Iowa City before a short stint with a local high school. He then took a job with the Northern Iowa Panthers and Wyoming Cowboys before coming to Ann Arbor in 2011.
Not only does Michigan lose experience, but it loses an outstanding recruiter: Montgomery was one of the primary recruiters on five-star running back Derrick Green and four-star players Henry Poggi, Taco Charlton and Jake Butt.
Montgomery will replace former defensive line coach Jackie Shipp, who was on Oklahoma’s coaching staff since Bob Stoops’ arrival in 1999.