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Bixby’s Loren Montgomery Q&A – Presented by Fieldhouse Gear

In February of 2010, Loren Montgomery replaced Pat McGrew as the head coach of the Bixby Spartans. McGrew led the Spartans to a runner-up finish in Class 5A the year before, but as Montgomery took over the program the team was in a transition period despite the recent success. Moving to Class 6A was a challenge. That first season in Class 6A the Spartans went 5-5 and would struggle to find wins for a couple of seasons. Coach Montgomery was laying the foundation for what would become a championship program. Through those early struggles, the Spartans were creating a culture of players who bought into the program and believed in the process whether they were the top players on the team or not.

In the beginning of his tenure, coach Montgomery had his detractors. That all changed in 2014 when the Spartans won the Class 6A II state championship. Today, those same detractors are hard to find. The trophy case is full of gold balls, and no one is second guessing the process or the hard work and sacrifice it takes to be a championship program. It’s expected out of the Spartans.

VYPE Magazine editor Brad Heath caught up with Loren Montgomery after his team recorded their seventh state title in eight years.

VYPE: Coach, 6AII has been a battle for second place since its inception. Your teams have dominated this division, but every year and every team is different from the next. What was it about this year’s team that made them special and was there something about this group that surprised you? 

Montgomery: We had great leadership on this year’s team. We had a group of leaders that had high expectations each day for the way we trained, practiced, and played. It was a pleasure to coach such a great group of young men.

VYPE: In the playoffs the defense was dominant, and the offense was, at times, unstoppable. You outscored opponents in the playoffs, 189-27. Talk about your assistant coaches and what they mean to this program. 

Montgomery: We have an unbelievable staff of guys who love football and love moving the needle in our program. Tyler Schneider our OC has been with us for 11 years, Rodney Flowers our DC has been with us for 10, we have two of our former players on staff. Great professionals who are constantly trying to find a better way and grow. Continuity is way underrated in today’s world of football.  

VYPE: Like it or not, the comparisons have started between some of those great Jenks teams and the Montgomery teams coming out of Bixby. Is that a compliment or would you prefer Bixby stand on its own without the comparisons? 

Montgomery: I’ll leave that up to you guys. That’s out of my pay grade.  

VYPE: What did your time under coach Trimble mean for you professionally and personally? 

Montgomery: I am unbelievably blessed to have gotten to start my career under such a great leader. Coach Trimble was my mentor, and that’s something that is very special to me.  He was so smart and had such a great way with people. Everyone always felt better after being around Coach Trimble. On a professional level, Coach Trimble taught me what a championship program needs to look like.

VYPE: What do you think Coach Trim would say about your success today? 

Montgomery: I think he would be proud. He always took great pride in developing his coaches. I still remember that he always took great pride in the coaches that he had worked with when they moved on. He has a pretty impressive coaching tree, and that is not an accident.  

VYPE: What would a bump to 6AI mean for your program and what’s the approach with the players? 

Montgomery: Our schedule will change up a bit, but our approach won’t. Everything we do we focus on our process of trying to maximize everyone’s potential in our program, and that is what we will continue to do.  

VYPE: To build a championship program like you have at Bixby there are so many ingredients you must have in place to make it work. Everyone is chasing that formula, but there is no way to replace hard work and being dedicated to the process. Your players and coaches do both. What is your message to those players, past and present, who gave you everything they had for an opportunity to share in that success? 

Montgomery: There are a lot of people who have poured into this program over the years. Players, coaches, parents, Administrators, business owners, and I could go on and on. I would just like to thank everyone who has had a hand in helping us build our program. 

There are a lot of people in our lean years who didn’t get to experience the kind of success we’ve had lately, and I appreciate them believing in our vision for this program.  

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