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Montgomery To Add Hall of Fame Honor

Photo Provided Former John Marshall baseball coach Bob Montgomery will be inducted into the West Virginia Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Jan. 29.

MOUNDSVILLE — The accolades have piled up for former John Marshall baseball coach and OVAC Hall of Famer Bob Montgomery over the years and he deserves every one of them.

However, his next honor is something that he will hold near and dear to his heart simply because of who it involves and what it stands for.

On Jan. 29, Montgomery will be inducted into the West Virginia Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in Charleston, which means the world to him.

“I am beyond fortunate to have been honored in different ways over the years,” Montgomery said. “This is special because it’s my peers. The people in my profession — the state coaches association. It includes high school and college coaches. I think three college coaches are in and maybe 16-18 high school coaches so it’s a pretty special group.”

In his 43 years at the helm of the Monarchs, ‘Monty’ led the squad to 28 sectional titles, five regional titles, eight OVAC titles and one very memorable state title in 1985.

“I remember we beat Martinsburg in the semifinals and Huntington East in the championship,” Montgomery said. “They both combined for seven state championships in the 1980s and both games went to extra innings.

“The championship game ended on a squeeze bunt that Tommy Owens laid down on the grass and Bill Black scored from third and the dogpile began.

“We were up 7-4 with two outs and nobody on in the seventh but we walked a guy, hit a guy and allowed a three-run homer. That flattened us but it was really good on our part that we regrouped in the ninth to win 8-7.”

Montgomery’s squads averaged 20 wins for 43 years and he ended his coaching career with a record of 870-370 — the second most wins in OVAC history behind friend and competitor Dave Cisar of Magnolia; and third in West Virginia history behind Jefferson’s John Lowery and Cisar — all three of which were named all-state baseball players in 1964.

That competitiveness with Cisar, along with the love of his community and love of his players are the things that meant the most to Montgomery — even more than any hall of fame honor.

“Dave talks about what Magnolia and the town of New Martinsville meant to him and the same goes for me,” Montgomery said. “There are different communities that make up John Marshall. To be at one school and one program for 49 years total is unheard of. Dave and I both grew up in Marshall County. I was there when the school opened in 1968 and I took over coaching in 1975 and now Mark Cisar is coaching — Dave Cisar’s son, which is fitting to me.

“John Marshall became my school and a big part of my life. The memories are the players and the relationships with the coaches and the players. That’s a special bond and that’s what Dave talks about. I’ve been blessed by people giving me some recognition but I’ve had a lot of great players over the years.”

Cody Tomer can be reached at ctomer@theintelligencer.net

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