Montgomery back at JDCC but in a different roll
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Joe Montgomery is not sure what path basketball will take him in the future. When Jefferson Davis Community College offered him a chance to join head coach Allen Gainer's staff this season as an assistant coach, he jumped at the opportunity.
Montgomery's name should sound familiar to those who follow the Warhawks basketball program. Montgomery played at JDCC back in the 2000-01 season and averaged nearly 15 points a game.
After one season in Brewton, Montgomery transferred to North Georgia College outside Atlanta and put together a couple of strong seasons at that school. In fact, Montgomery was selected North Georgia's Most Valuable Player last season when he averaged 19 points a game. Montgomery, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana, is scheduled to graduate from North Georgia in December.
"I haven't totally given up thoughts of playing basketball. There may be a chance I could go overseas and play. For now, it's a great opportunity to come back to JDCC and help out Coach Gainer," Montgomery said.
Gainer said Montgomery is a welcome addition to the Warhawks staff.
"This is my sixth season and I've never had an assistant coach before now. Between Joe and my wife, Khristie, who is also serving as an assistant, we're finally putting a staff together," Gainer said.
Montgomery, who is no relation to current JDCC player Brandon Montgomery, said he brings a mixture of new and old ideas to the Warhawks program.
"Having played for Coach Gainer, I know the kind of system he runs and what he expects from his players," Montgomery said. "On the other hand, I can bring some new ideas into the program with what I learned at North Georgia."
In addition to his bench duties, Montgomery will assist Gainer in recruiting.
"Coach Gainer has put a lot of the recruiting in my hands right now. When we're not playing, I'll be out watching high school teams play throughout this region. Even though I just finished playing in college last season, I've had a chance to meet a lot of high school coaches. We need to keep that line of communication with the high schools open," Montgomery said.
Speaking of communication, Montgomery said he has had no problems relating to the JDCC players despite his youth.
"I'm only two or three years older than a lot of our players. I was afraid when I first took the job the players wouldn't respect me. So far it has been just the opposite. They've listened to me and done what I've told them to do," Montgomery said.
Montgomery said he liked an up tempo game as a player. He likes that style as a coach as well.
"I like a game where the players get up and down the floor in a hurry. We're probably going to play that kind of style this season, but that is more because of the kind of personnel we have. We've quite a bit of guard depth and some quickness. You have to play to the style of your strength," Montgomery said.
Montgomery said he is not sure whether or not he will want to advance up the coaching ladder in the future.
"I may want to be a head coach some day. Right now I'm not sure. Regardless, the opportunity to be an assistant coach at JDCC is a great stepping stone for me," Montgomery said.