published Friday, March 11th, 2011

Montgomery leaving Central

Sam Montgomery has resigned as Central High School’s head football coach after just one season.

Montgomery, a single parent, said he needed to spend more time with his three sons. He lives in Marion County and had been making the daily drive to Harrison since he was hired last May.

“When I took the job we were a whole family and now we’re not, and I need to make sure the time I spend with my boys is quality time,” Montgomery said. “When you work 50 miles from your family, it’s tough to balance the family time and the time you need to spend with the football team.

“I hope I’ve left the program in better shape than when I first took it. Whoever they get hopefully will take them to that next step now. It was an extremely tough decision, but my boys are my top priority, and as tough as it was to have to step down, it’s the right thing to do for my family.”

The Purple Pounders advanced to the Class 4A playoffs last season and finished 6-5 overall. It was the program’s first winning season since 2003.

Montgomery, previously an assistant at Boyd-Buchanan, had taken over for David Barger, who stepped down last spring to return to Lake County, where his wife Dawn was offered the boys’ basketball coaching job. Dawn Barger has guided Lake County to the boys’ Class A state tournament this season — just the second woman to coach a boys’ team to the final eight.

“Sam had been discussing this with me for a while, so it wasn’t a shock,” Central athletic director Brent Cooper said. “I understand where he is coming from and why he made the decision he did.

“We think the world of Sam here and I hate the fact he has to do this, but if I was in his situation I’d do the same thing. It’s personal reasons, for his family, so we all totally support that.”

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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