Former Stars coach Jim Montgomery, who was fired on Dec. 10 for “unprofessional conduct,” announced Friday he’s entering an inpatient program for alcoholism.
Montgomery released a statement to the Dallas Morning News and called his dismissal “the appropriate call.”
“Losing my job as head coach of the Dallas Stars lat month was a wake-up call. It was also the appropriate call,” he said. “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 issued a statement and said the team supports 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.”
Since Montgomery’s dismissal, the Stars have gone 6–3–1 under interim coach Rick Bowness, including a 4–2 win over the Predators at the Winter Classic. On Dec. 10, Nill said the team fired Montgomery due to “unprofessional conduct inconsistent with the core values and beliefs of the Dallas Stars and the National Hockey League.”
Montgomery, 50, was hired by Dallas prior to the start of the 2018-19 season after he coached for five years at the University of Denver. He reached a 60–43–10 record during his time with the Stars and led them to an appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season. Dallas fell in seven games in the second round to the Blues, who went on to win the Cup championship. Montgomery had two years remaining on his contract with Dallas.