Former DU and Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery had a recent interview with Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic ($). While Montgomery did not reveal the specific event(s) that led to his firing by the Dallas Stars, he opened up about his addiction to alcohol and his understanding and acceptance of his dismissal.
Most people in similar circumstances would retain legal counsel and push for a settlement. Instead, Montgomery took full responsibility for his firing – with over $4 million dollars remaining on his two-and-a-half-year contract. Monty was never big on excuses – either from his players, himself, or even the fans.
“I think I deserved to be let go and I don’t think I deserve to make money for my actions,” Montgomery told The Athletic & TSN reporter Pierre LeBrun in a video chat. “I didn’t do the right things. Those are the things that I ask of my players all the time. But I didn’t do the right things.”
“I’m thankful for the Dallas Stars and Jim Nill for what they did, even though I understand that I disappointed Jim Nill, the staff that I worked with, great staff and great people and the players, especially, I let down. That firing was deserved.”
“It took the firing by the Dallas Stars for me to realize, look in the mirror and understand that disease with alcoholism,” Montgomery told LeBrun.
Anyone who knows Monty knows that he addresses problems head-on. He was 38 when he got his first DUI but his coaching structure, family, and career success masked the need for help. It took the events of December 9th, 2019 to bring the 50-year-old Montgomery face-to-face with his personal demons.
It seems clear that Montgomery will eventually return behind a bench, resuming his passion to teach and coach. “I am hopeful to coach again, it’s my passion, it’s what I love to do…I don’t think I’m in a position where I can afford to be picky,” he said.
Montgomery excelled in the college environment. The big question -Will a university take a risk on hiring a coach with two alcohol-related incidents?
Don’t bet against Monty.
Photo credit: CBS Sports