IU staff adds Smith, Frey from Michigan, Montgomery from Wyoming

Indiana has added former Michigan quarterbacks coach Rod Smith to coach QB’s and be co-offensive coordinator with wide receivers coach Kevin Johns. Michigan offensive line coach Greg Frey has been added to coach the offensive line, and Jerry Montgomery has been hired from Wyoming. He will coach defensive tackles. Mark Hagen, who was originally supposed to coach defensive tackles, will coach the ends.

This means IU needs just one more assistant, a running backs coach.

The release follows.

WILSON ADDS THREE ASSISTANTS, ANNOUNCES STAFF REALIGNMENT

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Rod Smith, Greg Frey and Jerry Montgomery have joined Indiana Head Football Coach Kevin Wilson’s coaching staff, Wilson announced Thursday. Smith will serve as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, while Frey will coach the offensive line and Montgomery will handle the defensive tackles.

Wilson also announced plans to reorganize staff duties. Kevin Johns will join Smith as co-offensive coordinator. Johns will still coach the team’s wide receivers. Mark Hagen will now be in charge of the defensive ends and remain as IU’s special teams coordinator. Co-Defensive Coordinator and Safeties Coach Doug Mallory has been tabbed assistant head coach.

“We have deliberately taken time with our hires to make sure we get the right fits, not just with coaching backgrounds and pedigrees, but getting the right people to make up a cohesive unit,” Wilson said. “We feel the staff has come together in a very positive manner.

“I will be more involved with the offense initially and in time we will determine how we call games. I will make sure it starts out with my involvement and those guys splitting the workload that I can’t do.

“I’ve had previous relationships with Rod Smith and Greg Frey having built some of our past offenses with Coach (Rich) Rodriguez and having continued to visit and study with those guys. It is going to be a natural transition for both of them. They are well-versed in the no-huddle style and know how to coach it.

“Jerry Montgomery is the one guy on staff I didn’t personally know, but like six of our assistants, he has a Big Ten background. Jerry was a great player at Iowa and came highly recommended from a colleague. When we met him, he lit up the room. Jerry is a tremendous young coach and a great addition to our staff.”

Eight of Wilson’s nine full-time coaching positions are now filled. Below is a look at Indiana’s staff:

Defense
Doug Mallory – Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
Mike Ekeler – Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
Mark Hagen – Defensive Ends/Special Teams Coordinator
Jerry Montgomery – Defensive Tackles
Corey Raymond – Cornerbacks

Offense
Kevin Johns – Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers
Rod Smith – Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Greg Frey – Offensive Line
TBA - Running Backs/Recruiting Coordinator

Below are short biographies on Rod Smith, Greg Frey and Jerry Montgomery:

Rod Smith – Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Smith coached the quarterbacks at the University of Michigan from 2008-10 after one season in the same position at West Virginia University. He helped develop two of college football’s most explosive quarterbacks in U-M’s Denard Robinson and WVU’s Pat White. Smith originally worked at West Virginia as an offensive graduate assistant in 2001, but was quickly offered a full-time position coaching the quarterbacks and serving as pass game coordinator at the University of South Florida (2001-04). He mentored the signal-callers for four years at USF before being elevated to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for his final two seasons (2005-06). Smith served as an offensive coordinator at Franklin (W.Va.) High School (1997-98) and Urbana (Ohio) University (1998-2000). He also committed time as a graduate assistant at Clemson University, before his initial stint at West Virginia. Smith earned All-America honors in 1996 as a quarterback at Glenville State College, when he was a team captain for the school’s fourth straight conference championship team. A native of Franklin, W.Va., Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Glenville State in 1997 and received a master’s degree in teaching at Urbana in 2000. Smith and his wife, Charlene, have a son, Alex (10).

Smith on Indiana:
“I am very happy to join Coach Wilson and the great staff he has assembled. My family and I are excited to be in Bloomington and can’t wait to get going.”

Greg Frey – Offensive Line
Frey comes to Bloomington from the University of Michigan, where he served in the same capacity from 2008-10. He arrived in Ann Arbor after spending the 2007 season mentoring the offensive line at West Virginia University. Prior to WVU, Frey helped launch the University of South Florida’s football program as a graduate assistant in the team’s first years of existence (1996-98). He received a full-time position leading the Bulls’ defensive line during the 1999 season and then moved to the opposite side of the ball, working with the offensive linemen for seven seasons (2000-06). He was a three-year letterman on Florida State University’s offensive line and was a member of Bobby Bowden’s national championship team in 1993, defeating Nebraska in the 1994 Orange Bowl. Frey graduated from Clearwater High School, where SuperPrep Magazine rated him the top offensive lineman in the country. He also went on to earn Parade All-America status. A native of Clearwater, Fla., Frey is a 1996 graduate of Florida State.

Frey on Indiana:
“This is really a great opportunity. I am excited about being here and working with Coach Wilson. He is going to get this thing headed in the right direction and I look forward to getting to work.”

Jerry Montgomery – Defensive Tackles
Montgomery spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons as defensive line coach at the University of Wyoming and is quite familiar with the Big Ten, as he was a defensive tackle at the University of Iowa from 1998-01. He 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. Montgomery coached the UNI defensive line for three seasons (2006-08). 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 campaigns. Montgomery was a four-year starter at Iowa. Following his college playing career, he went to camp with the New Orleans Saints in 2002. He later played in the Arena Football League with the Chicago Rush, Colorado Crush and Las Vegas Gladiators from 2003-2005. Montgomery 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. He graduated from Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies in 2002. Montgomery and his wife, Natalie, have three sons, Jayden (6), Tevyn (5) and Jace (1).

Montgomery on Indiana:
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to be a part of IU. Being a former Big Ten player, I am thrilled to come back to the league. I am optimistic about the things we can accomplish here. The facilities are awesome and I think we will be successful.”

24 comments

  1. I really like the way that this staff is shaping up. One more big hire to make. But the eight coaches joining head coach Wilson each has something to prove to the college football world. This is exactly what IU must do. Indiana Football must prove that it can be a consistent winning program with top 25 aspirations. Coach Pease may have been a very good coach, but he did not have that chip on his shoulder mentality that these eight have. Let’s sign some recruits and get IU winning next season.

  2. Not sure how that will be handled EBurd, but they only have one more full-time position available. Wilson handled fullbacks and tight ends at Oklahoma, so he may do that himself. He could put them under the split jurisdiction of the offensive line coach and wide receivers coach, or he could put a graduate assistant in charge.
    The reason, by the way, that Lynch had a tight ends coach in Kyle Conner and Wilson will not is Wilson hired separate coaches for cornerbacks and safeties as well as a separate coach for defensive tackles and defensive ends. Joe Palcic handled the entire secondary under Lynch. The limit of nine full-time assistant coaches is an NCAA bylaw.

  3. We are going to have a wide open fast paced spread offense. Things are shaping up to be very exciting.

  4. “I’ve had previous relationships with Rod Smith and Greg Frey having built some of our past offenses with Coach (Rich) Rodriguez…” Is he saying that he’s consulted with Rodriguez before in the development of offensive schemes (as opposed to have coached with him?)

    Also, If the new defensive coaches need to know what’s wrong with IU they just need ask all the offensive coaches that used to coach for other Big Ten schools.

  5. Dave,
    That’s my presumption. I don’t believe Wilson has ever worked with Rodriguez on a coaching staff, but teams obviously meet for coaching clinics often, and sometimes they visit each other to pick things up. I can recall in 2004 or 2005, Penn State’s staff visited Texas to see what the Longhorns did with Vince Young to plot a scheme to make use of Michael Robinson. Wilson’s meetings with Rodriguez were likely in similar situations.

  6. The defense suffers more from a lack of talent than lack of coaching , they need a significant upgrade in their defensive recruits.

  7. If they run a spread offense they don’t need a TE. I can’t imagine Bolser sticking around in that scenario. Why should or would he.

  8. Tight ends played a significant part in the passing and running game at OU in Coach Wilson’s offensive attack.

  9. We are going to run multiple offensive sets that a TE will be used in. Also, Bolser seemed to fit in well last year in the Pistol Spread.

  10. Tight end Kevin kolger figured in richrod’s offensive scheme as alternative to roundtree, odoms, Hemingway, et al. So IU should be able to utilize Bolser quite a bit.

    Former UM hires are good for IU; the UM O line was strong point and came into it’s own this year; very few sacks for denard. Of course his 4.23 speed helped…

    Am excited about both kevin Wilson and Brady hoke hires; quality of big ten coaches and toughness of IU and UM programs went way up when they were hired.

  11. Wilson’s OU offense put two TE’s in the NFL in 2010, Eldridge and Gresham. IU’s pistol of the past is also a spread offense and Bolser flourished.

  12. Many times in today’s world of football, there isn’t a TE, but rather they are being H backs… They can line up at WR, traditional TE or even a FB. Examples of this, look at Heath Miller, A. Gates, Dallas Clark and Vernon Davis; this is what the TE position is becoming in football today. So to answer the question, there is a place for the TE in a “spread” offense…

  13. EBurd,

    The ‘Spread’ offense is not a SET but a CONCEPT. Theoretically, you could run a 2 TE set as a spread simply by moving the TEs away from the tackles.

  14. Andy is spot on. You probably shouldn’t even call these guys tight ends. The position is dramatically different from the tight ends of the past. Dallas Clark is more like a wideout/slot/fullback/TE hybrid. Wes Welker routinely moves from slot to H-back. Not many successful offenses use Dave Casper style TEs anymore.

  15. Andy- Add Jason Witten to that list. Absolute beast. Second in the NFC in overall receptions.

    I might also add to Clarion’s thought that Greshem is almost Rookie of the Year material coming out of Wilson’s system.

  16. AZ used a spread offense and Gradkowski flourished in it. Until injured, he was AZ’s most potent offensive weapon. He also blocked very well. He’s now poised to win a Super Bowl with New England.

    If your big, fast, have good hands and are willing to block, a good coach will find a way to utilize you frequently. Bolser’s not going anywhere. He’ll thrive under Wilson’s offense. He just has to hope that his quarterback is accurate. If not, the TE is more likely to get injured than the other receivers.

  17. So if they are not really tight ends, I am right in saying we shouldn’t have them. TE’s are somewhat insignificant now and are truly things of the past. Dallas Clark is wr/rb/fb

  18. Call them what you want, my point was that Bolser is not likely to leave because of Wilson’s offensive system. He’ll have ample opportunity.

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