- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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Former Duke football standout and assistant coach Scottie Montgomery will return to his alma mater to serve as the program’s associate head coach and offensive coordinator/passing game while coaching the wide receivers, the school announced on Monday.
Montgomery, who starred as an All-ACC wideout at Duke from 1996-99, re-joins the program after serving the last three seasons (2010-12) as an assistant coach with the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cleveland County, N.C., native spent four seasons (2006-09) on the Blue Devil staff under head coaches Ted Roof and David Cutcliffe.
“When myself and Kurt Roper and the 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 that we could hire and who we thought was the best football coach in America. That came to Scottie Montgomery -- it started there; nowhere else.”
Coaching the wide receivers, Montgomery helped the Steelers to a three-year regular-season record of 32-16 including the 2010 AFC North division championship and an appearance in the Super Bowl XLV, where Pittsburgh fell to the Green Bay Packers, 31-25. The Steelers also reached the playoffs in 2011. Among the wideouts mentored by Montgomery were Hines Ward, Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. A four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection, Ward finished his career as the organization’s all-time leader in receptions (1,000), receiving yardage (12,083) and receiving touchdowns (85). Wallace earned a Pro Bowl bid in 2011 after catching 72 passes for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns while Brown was the Steelers’ team MVP in 2011 after becoming the first player in NFL history to amass 1,000-plus yards both receiving and on kick returns.
“I am extremely happy to be at Duke University,” Montgomery said. “We have the best football program in college football because of, first and foremost, David Cutcliffe. And when I had the ability to come back and work for him, it made things a lot easier than a lot of people might think.
“When I went to Pittsburgh, my ideal was to become a better coach,” Montgomery continued. “When I came back to Duke, it’s the same deal – I came back to be a better coach. Not only are our players striving for excellence, but one of the things Coach (Cutcliffe) has always pushed on me is that ambition would drive us to another level. And my ambition is to become a better coach, and that’s why I’m here.”
1dMatt Fortuna and Andrea Adelson