December 21, 2014

Elyria
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H.S. Golf: Tom Porter leaves EC, replaced by Rick Montgomery

ELYRIA — Rick Montgomery is taking over for a longtime Elyria Catholic coach … again.

Three months ago, Montgomery was named the Panthers hockey coach after program founder Dave Phiel stepped down after 16 years.

This week, Montgomery was announced as the successor to Tom Porter, who resigned as Elyria Catholic’s golf coach after 14 years.

Porter and Phiel had the same reasons for stepping aside: time demands and a desire to spend more time with their families.

“Fourteen years is enough for me,” said Porter, who sent either a team or an individual to regionals in each of his first 12 seasons but was never able to get a team to state. “I enjoyed it. There’s nothing but good memories for me.”

Porter, the head pro at Forest Hills Golf Course, had his share of good teams and was able to coach his son Travis and daughter Alexa, the lone EC player to make state during his years on the job. She finished seventh in the girls state tournament as a junior and made the top 20 two other times.

“I had a good time,” Porter said. “I enjoyed every minute of it.”

As much of an adjustment as the change might be for the players, Porter knows it will be one for him, too.

“I’ll miss it,” he said. “I’ve already been thinking about it and then I have to say, ‘No, you’re not doing it.’”

Montgomery, 42, is no stranger to EC or the area. The Elyria High grad and hockey player back when the Pioneers had a team has been EC’s JV hockey coach and varsity assistant for 13 seasons. The former owner of a sports card and memorabilia store in Elyria, he’s also been the head pro and manager at Brentwood Golf Course the last three years.

“I’m getting to do what I want,” Montgomery said. “I want to teach and I want to coach.”

Montgomery has also been the pro and manager at Willow Creek and was an assistant pro at Spring Valley for six years.

“After meeting with Rick and discussing his background in golf, I knew that he would be a great fit for our students at Elyria Catholic,” EC athletic director Mike Wisnor said. “Rick is a student of the game and is passionate about teaching the sport to the next generation of golfers.”

Contact Kevin Aprile at 329-7135 or kaprile@chroniclet.com.