Former Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery revealed why he was let go by the team as he enters an inpatient residential program for alcohol abuse, according to a statement he released Friday to the Dallas Morning News.
The statement is made nearly one month after the Stars swiftly fired the 50-year-old bench boss, after the organization learned of what GM Jim Nill called at the time a “material act of unprofessionalism.”
This is the first public comment made by Montgomery:
“Losing my job as head coach of the Dallas Stars last month was a wake-up call. It was also the appropriate call. I let the team’s front office, staff and players down. More importantly, I let my wife and my family down. The team’s decision to end my role forced me to look into the mirror and decide whether I wanted to continue living a damaging lifestyle or get help. I decided to get help. I turned to professionals in the field of alcohol abuse for their guidance and counseling. It has been an overwhelming and a very humbling experience knowing that I am not alone.
“Today, with the unconditional support of my wife and family, and many close friends, I took another step forward by admitting myself into an inpatient residential program, where I intend to take the steps to be a better husband, father, friend, coach and mentor – one day at a time. It’s a process I am committed to. As I do this, I ask that my family’s privacy be respected. Thanks, Monty.”
Stars general manager Jim Nill also released a statement to The Dallas Morning News Friday afternoon, supporting Montgomery.
“We are supportive of this decision by Jim and we hope that by pursuing this help, he and his family will be stronger for it,” Nill said. “Out of respect for him and his family, we will not be commenting on this situation further.”
Until today, it remained a mystery to the reasons why Montgomery had been let go by the team. At the time of the firing, Nill said there was no criminal investigation, and that no current or former players were involved in the incident in question. Nill said there were no other Stars employees involved, and that the decision was not based on on-ice performance.
It is reportedly not the first time Montgomery is dealing with alcohol issues: he was previously arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated in Collier County, Florida in 2008. Montgomery has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings since he was fired by the Stars, according to a source.
We wish Montgomery all the best and hope he finds the support he needs in treatment.