20 years ago, JJ Montgomery was a pointing machine for the Angelina College Roadrunners basketball team. The Lufkin High School product would go on to play Division 1 basketball in the state of Arkansas and then professional basketball overseas.
In 2015, Montgomery returned to the Angelina College pitch with a removal ceremony for his number 5 jersey. Now the former Roadrunner will wear blue and orange again, this time as head coach JJ Montgomery. .
The East Texas basketball legend was named Angelina College’s new men’s basketball coach on Tuesday. Among the crowd of supporters were some of Montgomery’s former teammates, and they held some sort of reunion on the pitch where they had competed before.
“Being able to come home and coach where I played here at Angelina College was just an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Montgomery said at Wednesday’s ceremony. “I’m happy to be home and ready to kick this thing up.”
Montgomery is a familiar face to East Texas basketball fans, having played at Lufkin High School, where he became the school’s career leading scorer with over 3,000 points. From there, Montgomery played two years at Angelina College under the guidance of current AC athletic director Guy Davis. Montgomery set the program record for single season scoring (897 points) and career scoring (1,799 points) from 2001-2002. He is one of three members of the NJCAA’s first all-star team in the history of the Roadrunner men’s basketball program.
Despite arriving late in the recruiting season – the regular season kicks off in November – Montgomery has said he and his current players are up for the challenge.
“My expectations will always be the same,” said Montgomery, “and that is to compete at a high level. I can take my bumps and losses, but my main job is to get these guys to be in great shape and ready to play here.
“I still think we can do great things this season. I have met the guys and they seem determined to give the best of themselves.
Montgomery joins former head coach – and current AC athletic director – Guy Davis in a bid to kick off another successful season.
So how much will Davis express himself in Montgomery’s personal coaching style?
“I learned so much from Coach Davis,” Montgomery said. “He was a tough coach, but he was a tough love, and I needed it. My former players (from high school) will say, ‘Hey, that guy is pretty crazy’ with the way I coach. Coach Davis demanded perfection and he wanted us to work hard You will see a bit of Guy Davis in me I’m sure.
“But the officials will like me a lot more,” he said with a laugh. “I won’t suffer as many technical fouls as Coach Davis.”