Montgomery, hired as Miami's 32nd head coach prior to the playing of the 2004 Independence Bowl, has a 12-11 MAC regular-season record in three years as the RedHawks' coach (15-21 overall). He led Miami to a share of the 2005 and 2007 MAC East Division crowns.
A year ago, despite a rugged schedule, the RedHawks displayed outstanding fortitude and earned a trip to Detroit's Ford Field. Miami had a 5-2 record in conference games, including a 4-2 mark in MAC East Division play, tying the RedHawks with Bowling Green and Buffalo for first place in the division. By virtue of their head-to-head victories over the Falcons and the Bulls, Miami represented the East in the championship game. Though a loss to Central Michigan in the title contest caused Miami's overall record to dip below .500 (6-7), the RedHawks triumphed four more times than they had in 2006 (2-10).
In an unprecedented move, Miami University Director of Athletics Brad Bates made a locker room announcement in front of a national television audience prior to the playing of the 2004 Independence Bowl, naming then-offensive coordinator Shane Montgomery head coach of Miami's venerable football program.
The ecstatic reaction of the team and college football fans across the nation was perhaps best summed up by ESPN color analyst Bill Curry moments later.
"I wish I had the words to let you know what you've just seen," said Curry. "The most storied producer of college football coaches in the history of college football, Miami University--the Cradle of Coaches--just made an announcement on our air that Shane Montgomery will be its next head coach. This is really a signal moment, not just for Miami University, but for college football, and we're lucky to be here."
"Shane is well-respected by his players, and he's an excellent coach. In a technical sense, he's a former quarterback who has a real feel for the game and is very knowledgeable. On a personal level, Shane is a warm human being who is an excellent fit for Miami University and the Oxford community."
The late John Pont, Cradle of Coaches Member
Montgomery, who had served as the program's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach since 2001, succeeded Terry Hoeppner, who accepted the head coaching position at Indiana University two weeks earlier.
In his first season in 2005, Montgomery led the Red and White to a 7-4 record and a share of a third straight Mid-American Conference East Division title. Montgomery's seven wins ranked among the top five for first-year coaches in Division I-A while ranking as the fourth-best start all-time among a prestigious list of first-year Miami head coaches.
Along the way, Montgomery's 2005 team, which won five of its final six games, placed a league-high 11 individuals on the all-MAC first and second teams. Seven individuals went on to sign NFL contracts following the season, while Miami continued to rank among the nation's top Division I-A college football programs in graduation rate and APR--the NCAA's new measuring stick for retention and graduation rate.
Despite the struggles in 2006, Montgomery, also the team's offensive coordinator, guided first-year starter Mike Kokal through a solid year at quarterback. Kokal ranked 19th nationally in total offense and rushed for more yardage than any Miami quarterback since 2000. Miami also placed three individuals on the all-MAC teams, including first-team honorees wide receiver Ryne Robinson and safety Joey Card. Robinson later went on to be selected by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth round of the 2007 National Football League Draft.
Montgomery, who came to Miami in 2001 as one of the youngest coordinators in the nation, injected new life into a RedHawk offense that has consistently ranked among the nation's best under his tenure. Since Montgomery's first season, Miami has ranked among the top 45 nationally in total offense five times and has consistently ranked among the top 30 in passing offense. In 2003, Montgomery's offense ranked second nationally at 501.1 yards per game and shattered Mid-American Conference records for yards of total offense in a season (7,016) and touchdowns rushing and passing in a season (74).
As quarterbacks coach, Montgomery was instrumental in the development of Pittsburgh Steeler Ben Roethlisberger, a 2004 NFL Rookie of the Year and the youngest quarterback to lead his franchise to a Super Bowl Championship, and Josh Betts, a 2006 free agent signee of the Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts. Together, Roethlisberger and Betts combined to assemble the top five single-season passing seasons in program history.
Roethlisberger, who finished his career as Miami's all-time leader in passing yardage (10,829), completions (854) and touchdowns (84), was a three-time all-MAC selection who earned league MVP honors and was a third-team AP All-American in 2003.
Betts, in two years as a starter, twice ranked among the Top 20 nationally in total offense and passed for 7,029 yards in his career.
A two-time nominee and 2003 finalist for the prestigious Frank Broyles award, which is presented annually to the nation's top assistant coach, Montgomery has guided four of the top six offenses in Miami football history, based on yards per game. Miami's seven-year record with Montgomery on staff as offensive coordinator and head coach is a solid 52-47 (.525).
A native of Newark, Ohio, Montgomery came to Miami from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, where he had served in several capacities from 1993-2000. Montgomery joined the I-AA Moccasins as quarterbacks coach in February of 1993 and served in that capacity until June of 1995. During the 1995 campaign, Montgomery's role expanded to include co-offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator duties as well as quarterback coaching responsibilities for a team that featured eventual NFL All-Pro wide receiver Terrell Owens. Montgomery finished his well-rounded career at Tennessee-Chattanooga as the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.
After an impressive playing career at North Carolina State, Montgomery made his coaching debut as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, where he worked from 1991 to 1993. As a quarterback for the Wolfpack from 1987-89, Montgomery earned three straight varsity letters and saw action in three straight bowl games. The Offensive MVP of both the 1988 Peach Bowl and 1989 Copper Bowl, Montgomery was a second-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection as a senior. He finished his collegiate career completing 421-of-746 passes for 5,298 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Montgomery was recruited to N.C. State from Newark Catholic High School, where he starred on the football field from 1981-85 and helped the Green Wave to two state championships. In 2001, he was inducted into the Newark Catholic Hall of Fame.
"Ohio has some of the greatest high school football in the country, and being able to compete at that level while I was in high school meant a lot to my development as a player and coach," Montgomery said. "I look forward to continually developing relationships with the high school coaches in Ohio."
Montgomery resides in Oxford with his wife, Sandy, and two sons, Tanner and Trent.