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Football 2012: FHSU provides coaches for TMP programs

Published on -8/30/2012, 10:50 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Thomas More Prep-Marian has served as a recruiting pipeline for Fort Hays State University. Recent Monarch graduates have starred on FHSU squads, such as Maddie Holub and Chase Schippers.

However, recruiting can go both ways, and the Monarchs have lured multiple recent graduates to serve as head coaches and assistant coaches.

The Monarch football, track and field and volleyball teams all have used the experiences of former Tiger athletes to strengthen their programs.

The 2012 football coaching staff features three former FHSU football players: first-year head coach John Montgomery and first-year assistant coaches Colby McKinney and Ricky Jacques.

It's a win-win scenario for both parties. These coaches bring with them the latest trends in coaching and football drills to TMP, and they also have an opportunity to get their feet wet coaching.

"We've been fortunate with some of our relationships," Montgomery said. "With me being a former Fort Hays State University football player, then coaching with Fort Hays for three years and then also teaching there, I've been able to keep connections."

Montgomery started as a defensive coordinator under head coach Jon Borer two years ago, and in that time, the Monarchs have had several former athletes coaching, such as tight end Adam Jones and running back James Walker.

"Not every athlete is going to want to be a coach, but a lot of them still want to be part of something like football, track or volleyball," Montgomery said. "I think it's a tremendous tool that, if used properly, could be a great benefit."

McKinney, a former FHSU offensive lineman, is a physical education major who would like to do his student teaching at TMP. He coaches the offensive and defensive lines for TMP.

"It's been a blast," McKinney said regarding his experience with the team. "We got to meet a lot of them over the summer. We came in and did some weight room stuff with them. They are a great group, great group. They are high-intensity individuals, and that's all you can ask for."

Jacques came to FHSU as a running back but made the position switch to linebacker because of the team's needs. It worked perfect for TMP, because Jacques now coaches running backs and linebackers.

"It's a lot different being the hittee and being the hitter," Jacques said about his position switch. "... Your mindset is totally different, because you go from controlled, this is what you've got to do, to where on defense you're reacting and flying around trying to make plays."

Jacques is a psychology major who wants to become a school counselor/football coach.

McKinney said one of the most significant challenges he's faced was adapting to the new coaching environment.

"Coming from a college program, it's ramped up obviously," he said. "When you come down to high school, it's all about technique and getting proper footwork and proper hand placement."

Jacques and McKinney join a coaching staff consisting of second-year assistant coach Travis Reece, first-year assistant coach Bryce Wall and first-year assistant coach James Harris.

Harris, a former Kennedy Middle School coach, is the co-offensive coordinator with Montgomery and will call plays during games. He also coaches quarterbacks and defensive backs.

Reece is in charge of wide receivers and defensive backs, and Wall coaches tight ends and defensive ends.

Montgomery said having the FHSU athletes on his staff gives his athletes something to aspire to.

"They are guys our kids went and watched play at Fort Hays," Montgomery said. "In a way, they are role models for these kids. They showcase the benefits that football can have -- or any sport can have -- if you stick with it."

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