The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 7, 2013

Sooners’ newest assistants have hit the ground running

NORMAN — New Oklahoma assistant coaches Jerry Montgomery and Jay Boulware share one common trait: Both are living out of suitcases as the Sooners’ first spring practice nears. Settling in hasn’t been an option for either.

“That’s OK. You make it work,” said Montgomery, 33, who was recently hired away from Michigan. “This is a third transition for me where I’m kind of in a hotel right now. It will all work out. Hopefully, I’ll get my family in sooner before later. I’m excited about that. My wife’s here today.”

Boulware is more seasoned in the transition phase that comes with coaching. The 40-year-old’s decision to come to OU makes it seven stops since 1997.

“Coaches are used to that,” said Boulware, who was hired away from Wisconsin. “It’s been outstanding, getting back here, being in this town and being around these people and the fans. It’s been awesome. I’ve really enjoyed myself these 48 hours.”

The Sooners start spring practice Saturday, and it will be the first time Montgomery, Boulware or new offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh actually get on the field with the players.

In Montgomery’s case, that means rebuilding a defensive line with only three tackles on scholarship, and a collective group in need of a major overhaul after last season.

He’s had meetings with all his current defensive linemen in the last week as well as watched them in workouts.

“I think they all have upside. We’ve just got to keep working. They’re young,” Montgomery said. “I believe in technique and fundamentals, and that’s what I’m going to bring to the table. We’re gonna coach them up. I’ve only been around them for one or two workout sessions. I got to see them move around a little bit but haven’t seen them do much football. I’ve seen a little film on them. I’m excited to work with each and every one of them.”

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