TU Football Goes Offensive with Montgomery
LOOKING AHEAD: New TU Head Football Coach Philip Montgomery addresses the media and fans at the introductory press conference Dec. 15 in the Reynolds Center President’s Suite. Looking on are his wife, Ashli, and children, Maci and Cannon.
GTR Newspapers photos
The University of Tulsa Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Derrick Gragg introduced Philip Montgomery as the school’s 29th head football coach at a press conference on the TU campus Dec. 15.
Montgomery has logged nearly two decades of coaching experience, including the past seven (2008-14) at Baylor University where he most recently has served as the offensive coordinator for the Big 12 powerhouse. The Bears have posted 10 or more wins in three of the last four years, including 11 victories in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. This year, Baylor has produced an 11-1 record and No. 4 ranking in the Associated Press poll.
“We are extremely pleased to have Philip Montgomery as our head football coach,” said Gragg. “Coach Montgomery has an outstanding background as a collegiate coach and recruiter. He is one of the bright offensive minds in college football and has coordinated explosive offenses at both Houston and Baylor.”
A Texas native, Montgomery first began his association with Art Briles at Stephenville High School and has coached alongside Baylor’s head coach for 16 seasons. Montgomery moved with Briles to the University of Houston in 2003 and spent five years (2003-07) with the Cougars.
“For more than 20 years, Philip has been a rising star in Texas football,” said TU President Steadman Upham. “We welcome Philip and his family to our campus and the Tulsa community.”
“I am truly honored to be the next head coach at the University of Tulsa,” said Montgomery. “I want to thank President Upham, Derrick Gragg and the board of trustees for this special opportunity. I was fortunate to be in a great position working with Coach Briles and the wonderful people at Baylor. I’ve always wanted to be a head coach, but my family and I knew that it would take the right opportunity to get me to leave Waco. Tulsa is that special opportunity. There is a lot of work to get done and trust me, I’m already on it. Get ready for some fun, fast and physical football.”
In his career, Montgomery has tutored several award-winning quarterbacks, including Big 12 Player of the Year Bryce Petty, Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin , Baylor All-American Nick Florence, Conference Kevin Kolb and Houston standout Case Keenum.
Following Baylor’s record-breaking 2013 Big 12 championship season, Montgomery was honored as the Offensive Coordinator of the Year by FootballScoop.com and was named a finalist for the Broyles Award given to the nation’s top assistant. In 2011, Montgomery was named the National Offensive Coordinator of the Year by Rivals.com and was the Quarterback Coach of the Year by SpeedTracs/FootballScoop.com.
Montgomery has called plays for an offense ranked among the nation’s top two in each of the past four seasons. In 12 games this year, Baylor’s 581.3 yards per game and 48.8 points lead the nation. The Bears led the nation in total offense in 2013 (618.8 ypg) and ranked second in both 2012 (572.2) and 2011 (587.1). Baylor’s passing attack has ranked among the top five in that same span – fifth in both 2014 (346.2 ypg) and 2013 (359.1) and fourth in both 2012 (340.5) and 2011 (351.5).
For three straight seasons, each with a different quarterback, Montgomery’s pupils have earned All-America honors. In 2013, junior Petty joined the list after throwing for 4,200 yards and 32 TDs. Petty finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting and was named the unanimous Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
Under Montgomery’s guidance, Florence threw for a school-record 4,309 yards in 2012 and was named an honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated. As backfield coach in 2011 Montgomery coached two All-Americans — in addition to mentoring RG3, the most prolific quarterback in school history who set 54 school records, he also tutored future draftee Terrance Ganaway, who set Baylor single-season records for rushing yards (1,566) and rushing TDs (21).
The Bears finished the 2011 season with a 10-3 record, including a memorable 67-56 Alamo Bowl win over Washington, and ranked 12th (coaches) and 13th (AP) in the final national polls. The 2011 Baylor offense set or tied 101 offensive school records.
In 2010 Montgomery coached honorable mention All-American and Draftee Jay Finley, who broke the Baylor single-season rushing record by running for 1,218 yards. Griffin set or tied 11 school records including the then-single-season passing mark with 3,501 yards. In all, Montgomery assisted a BU offense that ranked 13th nationally (475.3 ypg) to 55 new school records.
Montgomery coached a 2008 Baylor backfield that was as productive as any BU offense in more than a decade. The Bears total points (28.0), rushing yards (2,349) and rushing TDs (29) were the most since 1994, and the total offense average (376.4) was the highest since 1995. Montgomery mentored Freshman All-America quarterback Griffin , who threw for 2,091 yards, rushed for 843, and accounted for 28 TDs.
Montgomery came to Baylor after five seasons coaching the backfield at Houston, the final year (2007) also serving as co-offensive coordinator. During his time at Houston, the Cougar offense ranked as one of the nation’s most prolific. In the 2007 regular season, Houston ranked fourth nationally in total offense (513.1 ypg), 10th in rushing offense (239.9 ypg), 17th in scoring offense (36.3 ppg) and 27th in passing offense (273.2 ypg).
Prior to joining the Cougars’ coaching staff, Montgomery served one year as the offensive coordinator at Denton (Texas) High School and helped that team compile a 10-2 record and the 2002 bi-district crown. Before that, Montgomery spent six seasons as the quarterbacks and backfield coach at Stephenville High School, where he was part of Briles’ program that won back-to-back 4A Division II state championships in 1998 and 1999.
A four-year letterman at Tarleton State, Montgomery began his coaching career as a student assistant at his alma mater working with the running backs and serving as the summer weight room coordinator for two seasons.
Montgomery, 42, received his bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports studies from Tarleton in 1995. He and his wife, Ashli, have two children, Cannon and Maci.