Jerry Montgomery returns in 2010 to coach the Wyoming defensive line for the second straight year. His defensive linemen will go through one of the most dramatic changes of any group on the Cowboy roster in 2010 as Wyoming shifts from a 3-4 defensive alignment to a 4-3 scheme. He also will be coaching a much younger group this season than he did in his first year at UW.
His 2009 Cowboy defensive line group featured four seniors in starting defensive tackle John Fletcher, starting defensive end Mitch Unrein, starting noseguard Fred Givens and reserve defensive tackle Mike Neuhaus. Fletcher earned First Team All-Mountain West Conference honors as a defensive tackle in `09, while Unrein was an Honorable Mention selection. Fletcher (Baltimore Ravens) and Unrein (Houston Texans) both signed free-agent contracts following the 2010 NFL Draft. Fletcher concluded his career ranked third in Mountain West Conference history and fifth in Wyoming school history with 24.0 career sacks. Unrein was the Defensive MVP of the New Mexico Bowl.
Wyoming's win in the 2009 New Mexico Bowl marked the third consecutive season that Montgomery coached a team to postseason play. Montgomery came to Wyoming from the University of Northern Iowa where he helped guide the Panthers to the semifinals of the 2008 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs and the quarterfinals of the 2007 FCS playoffs.
He coached the UNI defensive line for three seasons (2006-08). In 2008, the Panthers posted a 12-3 record before losing by one point, 20-21, in the FCS national semifinals to Richmond. Northern Iowa shared the 2008 Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) title with a 7-1 league mark, and was ranked as high as No. 4 in both of the FCS national football polls.
Montgomery had three of his defensive linemen earn All-MVFC honors in 2008, including junior defensive end James Ruffin, who was voted the conference Defensive Player of the Year. Joining Ruffin on the MVFC First Team was senior defensive tackle Everette Pedescleaux. Senior defensive end Jeremy Robertson earned Second Team All-Conference honors.
The 2008 UNI defense ranked No. 10 among all FCS teams in the nation in scoring defense, giving up only 17.7 points per game. Northern Iowa was No. 20 in the nation in rushing defense, allowing only 107.1 yards per game. The Panthers also ranked No. 23 in total defense (310.1 ypg) and No. 30 in pass defense efficiency (114.6 rating).
In 2007, UNI was 12-1, entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA FCS Playoffs before losing to Delaware, 27-39. Northern Iowa concluded the 2007 season ranked No. 4 in the final Sports Network poll and No. 5 in the final CollegeSportingNews.com/AFCA poll. UNI ranked No. 7 in the nation in scoring defense (16.9 points per game), No. 11 in total defense (303.9 yards per game), No. 6 in rushing defense (91.0 ypg) and No. 29 in pass efficiency defense (114.8 rating). He had three defensive linemen earn All-Gateway Conference honors. Ruffin was a First Team selection. Mark Huygens was a Second Team honoree, and Jordan Lacy received Honorable Mention honors.
As a graduate assistant coach in 2006 at UNI, Montgomery coached the defensive line led by Second Team All-Conference selections Huygens and Lacy.
Prior to coaching at Northern Iowa, he was the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at North Iowa Area Community College for the 2005 season. He also coached at Iowa City West High School for the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Montgomery was a three-year starter as a defensive tackle at the University of Iowa from 1998-2001. Iowa won the 2001 Alamo Bowl his senior season. Montgomery concluded his college career in the Hula Bowl All-Star game at the completion of his senior season. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in African American Studies in 2002.
Following his college playing career, the Mesquite, Nev., native went to camp with the New Orleans Saints of the NFL in 2002. He later played in the Arena Football League with the Chicago Rush, Colorado Crush and Las Vegas Gladiators from 2003-2005.
He played his high school football at Virgin Valley High School in Mesquite, Nev., where he was the Nevada State Player of the Year in 1997.
Montgomery is 30 years old -- born Sept. 19, 1979. He and his wife Natalie have three sons, Jayden, Tevyn and Jace.
Montgomery will recruit the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Wyoming and the Denver and Chicago metropolitan areas.