DURHAM — After a three-year stint as a wide receivers coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers, an AFC North division title and a trip to the Super Bowl, Scottie Montgomery is returning home to Duke University.
The former Blue Devils wide receiver and assistant coach sat with his wife, Ebony, and son, Cassius, listening to Duke coach David Cutcliffe introduce him to fans and media as his new associate head coach. Among other duties, he will coach the wide receivers. “When our offensive staff got together and looked at the possibilities across the country to replace two coaches, we started in one place,” Cutcliffe said. “We wanted to hire the best football coach we could hire … and that came to Scottie Montgomery. It started there and nowhere else.”
The Cleveland County native is already acquainted with the Duke football program, having spent eight years with the team as a player and coach, including one year as an assistant with Cutcliffe.
Montgomery had some brash words for the other college recruiters in the state.
“Watch out for me on the roads of N.C. because it’s going to be real,” he said. “Some of these other college football coaches recruiting around here right now, if I were you, I’d look somewhere else. Because we’re going to do an unbelievable job of recruiting here.”
During his four years as a coach with Duke from 2006-09, Montgomery, 34, helped wide receiver Eron Riley earn second-team All-ACC honors by The Associated Press in 2007 and 2008 and rank in the top 10 in school history for receptions, receiving yards, yards per reception and touchdown catches. Conner Vernon, who broke the ACC record for career receptions, was also recruited by Montgomery.
Duke is coming off a year of a lot of firsts – a win over North Carolina at home for the first time since 1998 and a trip to a bowl game – and Montgomery said he wants to help turn the 2012 season into a trend.
Montgomery, who graduated from Duke in 1999, said the only way of ensuring that was through developing players.
“Once we get them here, we’re going to develop them better than anybody,” he said. “But one thing you’ve got to understand is that one thing I do not want to do, and I will not do, is jeopardize or compromise our value system here at Duke University. It is important to me, to our alumni base, and we’re going to recruit men who want to be Duke men, not just Duke football players.”
While he has a lot ahead of him when it comes to recruiting, as well as developing the current players on the team, there was clear excitement from his family and boosters in the room – a sentiment shared by Montgomery.
“I am overjoyed about where we are right now as a football family,” Montgomery said. “What matters is that we played football at a high level this year and we beat the teams that we had to beat ... and we’re only going up. We are going up.”