Montgomery and Centenary Part Ways after Eight Successful Seasons
Thursday, May 13, 2010
SHREVEPORT-Centenary head softball coach Mark Montgomery announced his resignation as the leader of the Ladies softball program on Thursday. Montgomery will maintain his role until June 15 assisting associate head coach Mark Lambert in the transition process, as Lambert will take over the program at that time.

"Mark has had tremendous success in his tenure at Centenary and he is going to be successful at whatever he does in the future.  It is now up to us to live up to the high expectations that he has created for the program and we are up to the challenge," said Tallach.

"My time at Centenary was wonderful.  I felt we accomplished so much.  I hate to see it end, but I understand the college's decision to reclassify, however, it was not where I saw myself continuing to coach," said Montgomery.

"Senior day was sad for me this year.  Emotions were high as I thought of all the teams we have had here and all of the special young ladies who have come through this program.  I hope we have positively impacted all of their lives the way my life has been impacted," continued Montgomery.

Montgomery recently completed his eighth and final season at the helm of the Ladies softball program just last week. In eight years, Montgomery brought the Centenary squad from an independent team to an NCAA tournament contender and is the winningest coach in Centenary softball history, leaving with a record of 216-226 (.490).

He leaves his mark at Centenary as the only coach to have guided his team to an NCAA post-season as it happened twice, in 2004 and 2005. The 2005 season was capped by a 2-1 loss to #1 ranked Arizona in the NCAA tournament after leading 1-0 through six innings on the Wildcats home field.

With the top finish in the Mid-Con tournament in 2005, the Ladies placed a career-high seven places on the All-Conference team, including Mid-Con Pitcher of the Year and Newcomer of the Year accolades.

Under the direction of Montgomery, Centenary became a successful program that registered over 30 wins in five of the eight seasons and exceeded expectations in the 2004 season by recording 36 wins to tie the most wins in a single season.

During Montgomery's first three seasons, he guided the Ladies to 98 wins and a second place regular season league finish all three years. The 2008 season proved to be a strong finish as Centenary ended with a 34-26 record and garnered a first place seed in the league tournament after boasting an impressive 17-9 league record.

While at Centenary, Montgomery has coached 23 All-Conference honorees, two Newcomer of the Year recipients, one Pitcher of the Year, two Tournament MVPs and several All-Tournament players. Montgomery also guided outfielder Micah Rhodes to NFCA All-Region recognition.

During his time at the College, Montgomery has excelled in guiding his Ladies to wins over powerhouse conferences including Big 12, SEC, Big 10, ACC, and the Big 10.

Since his arrival, Montgomery has also worked hard to ensure his athletes are focused on winning with high academic standards. As many as 11 Ladies in one spring term have been named to the League's All-Academic team and to the Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence.

Along with his coaching duties at Centenary, Montgomery served as the Assistant Athletic Director for Development after overseeing a major renovation to the Ladies Softball Complex in 2009, including new dugouts, sound system, and a brick backstop as well as implementing the start of Centenary's C-Club, the primary booster club for the Athletic program. He also played a major financial role in helping obtain membership into The Summit League.

"Centenary was truly a special place to offer such an intimate college setting with Division I athletics.  I so thoroughly enjoyed my time here," said Montgomery.

Montgomery, along with wife Melanie and three daughters Emma, Bailey and Adrienne will say their goodbyes to Shreveport come mid-June.

"Our whole family has loved Shreveport and the Centenary Community and we will miss it terribly, but a new adventure awaits and that is exciting as well.  I hope to stay in college coaching at the DI or upper DII levels, but if that is not possible we'll return to Kentucky where I'll go back to teaching and coaching at the high school level," said Montgomery.