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Former Shiloh coach disputes investigation

Brian Montgomery

Brian Montgomery

On Thursday former Shiloh head football coach Brian Montgomery disputed the investigation that led to him losing his job, insisting he never recruited any players from his previous school, North Atlanta.

Gwinnett County Public Schools announced earlier this week that it would not renew Montgomery's contract because of the alleged recruiting violations, which became an issue when the Georgia High School Association contacted Shiloh "requesting information to help the GHSA with its investigation." On Thursday, the coach submitted his resignation.

The GHSA investigation began after a first-person story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution by Shiloh sophomore Wil Larimore, who transferred from North Atlanta after Montgomery was hired at Shiloh. A sentence early in the story read, "when (Montgomery) took the head coaching job at Shiloh, he asked several of us to transfer." The line was enough to spark the GHSA inquiry.

Montgomery took issue with the accuracy of that story. He sent the Daily Post two versions of Latimore's first-person story, a first draft and a second draft. One version read "when (Montgomery) took the head coaching job at Shiloh, it seemed the obvious place to transfer." The other read, "when (Montgomery) took the head coaching job at Shiloh, four of us decided to transfer."

Montgomery said he resigned from his GCPS position on Thursday out of necessity to keep the non-renewed contract issue off his permanent record.

"I just want all the facts of the situation out there and not just one side of it," Montgomery said. "Wil Latimore did not say that. I have the originals that the parents sent out and it's different from what the editor wrote. I've got the first draft and the second draft and Wil Latimore did not say that."

Montgomery said he never asked any of his former players at North Atlanta to join him at Shiloh. Four North Atlanta players did transfer, including Vanderbilt signee Stephen Weatherly, but the coach said they made their decisions without any prompting from him.

"I did not recruit any of them," said Montgomery, who was 2-8 in his only season as Shiloh's coach. "It's all based on this article by Wil Latimore. I didn't have to recruit Wil Latimore. I don't even have the capabilities to recruit. We were 7-3 at North Atlanta and coming to a Shiloh team that was 1-9. For a student to leave a 7-3 team for a 1-9 team, it had something to do with more than athletics. Academics have to play a part in it."

Montgomery also addressed a lingering question about the eligibility of the North Atlanta transfers. He said those players each made a "bonafide move," a GHSA term for a transfer who is eligible after a proper move.

"Once again, I don't do eligibility," Montgomery said. "If there's a question about eligibility, that's not me. We've had more than one AD and the AD had to sign off on all of this. If there was a question about eligibility, it should have been caught then."

The events of the last few weeks have left Shiloh in a lurch again. The high school already is in need of a new athletic director -- longtime Gwinnett administrator Mike Phillips took over earlier this month as Shiloh's interim AD until a permanent replacement is hired -- and now it needs a head football coach.

Montgomery is in a tough situation, too. He went to the emergency room Tuesday with complications from diverticulitis and had a consultation Thursday for surgery to remove part of his colon. Now those health issues are accompanied by professional ones.

He still plans to be a head football coach and expects to begin searching for a new job immediately.

"No doubt (I want to coach again)," Montgomery said. "I didn't want to leave Shiloh. We were making progress. We have 100 kids coming to the weight room every day. We're building something. And the main thing is what's happening to these kids.

"As coaches, we act as a father, we act as a brother, we act as a best friend to these kids. We're mentoring them. We're counseling them. We're monitoring their grades on a weekly basis so they can go to college. We've helped them with a lot of things."

Comments

Begedaddy 2 years, 6 months ago

If I'm not mistaken I saw where Shiloh's rec league have issues last year as well.

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YeahRight 2 years, 6 months ago

Ok, what does that have to do with the High School Coach?

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momgwinnett 2 years, 6 months ago

Why is it that GHSA has decided to enforce the rules now? Everyone knows that atheletes move around from school to school without actually physically moving their home address. This type of infraction is reported to GHSA every season but, no one seems to want to "enforce" the rules on this issue. Guess when you are GHSA you can make up the rules as you go along! I am not a Shiloh parent and I feel sorry for you Coach.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 6 months ago

This particular case was kind of hard for the GHSA and GCPS to ignore because one of Shiloh's football players wrote a letter to the AJC stating that Montgomery asked him and a few of his North Atlanta H.S. teammates to follow him to his new job at Shiloh.

I don't think that the kid may have even been aware that it was a violation seeing as though the tone of the letter was one where he was expressing how so very happy he was that he made the decision to follow his coach from North Atlanta to Shiloh.

Here's a link to the letter that sparked all of the complaints and touched-off the investigation and the actions by the GHSA and GCPS: http://www.ajc.com/sports/high-school/shiloh-qb-larimore-changing-1419684.html

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Bruce 2 years, 6 months ago

Let's roll out the dumb comments.

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NewsReader 2 years, 6 months ago

YeahRight, LMAO, that was truly priceless! The irony is, it's totally true!

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nvestnfamily 2 years, 6 months ago

The only investigation that needs to take place is whether or not these kids actually moved. If they did have a bonafide move (meaning vacating one residence and inhabiting another), then the case should be closed.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 6 months ago

These allegations against Montgomery are a bit more substantial than just whether or not the kids that transferred from North Atlanta to Shiloh actually live in the Shiloh district.

If Larrimore's allegations are true then Montgomery committed what is regarded by the GHSA to be a very serious allegation by asking the kids he coached at North Atlanta to follow him to Shiloh because verbally asking players to switch schools in any case is by definition recruiting, especially if it is done by a school representative (e.g., a coach, parent, teacher, administrator or booster).

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General 2 years, 6 months ago

Allegations....Allegations...Allegations... Where is the evidence? This is not the court, but what happened to innocent until proven guilty? GHSA is not saying a word. I cant wait to see what the investigation reveals, once the documents are requested from the "open records act". Those poor kids are hurting. Is anyone thinking about them?

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 6 months ago

"Allegations....Allegations...Allegations... Where is the evidence?"

For the evidence of the alleged recruiting violation that touched off the investigation and the actions by the GHSA and GCPS see the link that I provided above (in my response to momgwinnett's comments) to the letter written by Shiloh Quarterback Wil Larrimore where he unintentionally alleges that Montgomery recruited his and some of his teammates by stating that Montgomery asked them to follow him from North Atlanta to Shiloh.

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MissDaisyCook 2 years, 6 months ago

If we want to talk about recruiting violations let us look at the private schools, including GAC and especially Wesleyan. Amazing how many deserving children need scholarships that just happen to be able to shoot a 3-pointer, run a football, and go yard!

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 6 months ago

Which is why the GHSA doesn't normally say too much about recruiting unless it becomes just so blatantly public to the point where the violation cannot be ignored, which was the case here when the kid wrote the letter that appeared in the AJC where he said that Montgomery had asked him and some of his teammates to follow him to Shiloh.

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Sthrnldy 2 years, 6 months ago

If Montgomery is innocent, then why on Earth would he resign?

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YeahRight 2 years, 6 months ago

Because he has a family to take care of. Gwinnnett county was not going to renew his contract no matter what. With that on your record it would be almost impossible to get a job as a teacher anywhere else.

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General 2 years, 6 months ago

The real question is, if he is guilty where is the EVIDENCE? Resign or get fired, GCPS had his hands tied. I would resign as well, as he said, he had to do what is best for his family. He needs at least a 50% chance of obtaining another job teaching. Who wants to hire a teacher who was FIRED?

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 6 months ago

He's resigning so that he will be able to get another coaching job (not necessarily as a head coach, but definitely as an assistant) and won't officially have a non-renewal or an outright firing on his job record because he was not likely going to survive these allegations.

After that kid unintentionally made the accusation that Montgomery recruited them by asking him and some of his teammates to follow him to Shiloh from North Atlanta, there was absolutely no way that Montgomery was going to be able to keep his job as head coach for the Generals' football team.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 6 months ago

Also, it was to the benefit of all parties involved (the GHSA, GCPS, Montgomery himself) for Montgomery to resign because the issue of recruiting is an issue that none of them really want to delve too deeply into.

Since Montgomery has "decided" to resign (wouldn't be surprised if he was "encouraged" to resign so as to keep the results of the investigations by the GHSA and GCPS from becoming public), the GHSA and GCPS can quietly drop the investigation into Montgomery's alleged recruiting violations and go back to ignoring a practice that helps to drive much of the county's and state's rising success on the national prep athletic scene and in national college recruiting circles.

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