Thompson names interim football coach

Thompson High School named assistant coach Michael Montgomery the school's interim coach March 27 following the resignation of Caleb Ross after one season at the helm. (Contributed/Frankie Crim)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

Thompson High School head football coach Caleb Ross offered his resignation March 27 following one season at the Alabaster school, said THS Principal Danny Steele.

Steele said Michael Montgomery, the Warriors’ offensive line coach and running game coordinator, has been named the interim coach and will lead the team through spring practice. Steele said the head football coaching position will be posted once the current school year ends and the school will accept applications for a new head coach.

“Coach Montgomery brings a wealth of experience,” Steele said. “We continue to be optimistic about the future of the program.”

Montgomery, who played collegiately at Mississippi State University from 1989-1992 after graduating from Okolona High School in Okolona, Miss., has been a member of the Thompson staff since 2006.

Montgomery began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Mississippi State. Montgomery, who has coached at Meridian (Miss.), Walker and Tuscaloosa County high schools during his 15-year career, also coached two seasons at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., and served as a professional scout for the Canadian Football League for two years.

Montgomery and his wife Pam have two children, Nicholas and Kylah.

Ross led the Warriors to a 2-8 record last season, including a 0-7 mark in Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A, Region 6. Ross led Thompson to wins over G.W. Carver of Birmingham and John Carroll Catholic during his lone season at the helm.

Steele said he was saddened by Ross’ resignation.

“(Ross) did a great job for us,” Steele said. “I was sorry to see him leave.”

Ross said the desire to start a family and pursue a master’s degree led to his decision to resign.

“I feel like I needed to move forward on some things,” Ross said.

Ross said he believes Steele made a good decision by naming Montgomery the interim coach.

“I think Michael will do a good job,” Ross said. “He knows the school, he knows the community and he knows the kids. I think it was a wise decision.”

Ross, who was the offensive coordinator at Prattville during the school’s run of three consecutive AHSAA Class 6A championships from 2006-2008, stood out among 80 applicants when he was named the head coach at Thompson last February.

Ross spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Prattville, including serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for three seasons.

Ross coached four seasons at Clinton High School in Clinton, Miss. before taking a position on the Prattville coaching staff. Ross spent the 2005 season as the Clinton High defensive coordinator.

Ross, a former collegiate offensive lineman, played one season at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Miss. before transferring to Samford University. Ross spent the 2001 season as a student assistant coach at Samford and worked with the offensive line and special teams unit.

Ross, who graduated from Samford in 2002, is a Prattville High School graduate.

Thompson will have its third coach in three years next season. Bruce Hill stepped down following a 1-9 season as the Warriors’ interim coach in 2010.