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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Tommy Mont, American college football coach and NFL player, died from heart failure he was 89.

Thomas Allison "Tommy" Mont was an American educator, university administrator, college football coach, and NFL player died from heart failure he was 89.. He played quarterback for the Washington Redskins as a back-up behind Sammy Baugh for three seasons. Mont served as the head football coach for three years at the University of Maryland and for eighteen years at DePauw University. He also served as the DePauw athletic director for fifteen years.

(June 20, 1922 – January 1, 2012) 

Early life

Mont was born in Mount Savage, Maryland in 1922. He attended Allegany High School in Cumberland, Maryland where he played football as a quarterback. In 1939, he led the team to the city championship.[1]

College career

Mont meets William W. Skinner, Maryland's first quarterback and coach of the 1892 team.
Mont attended the University of Maryland where he played football as a quarterback in 1941 and 1942.[2] In 1942, Clark Shaughnessy took over as Maryland head coach. In 1940 and 1941, Shaughnessy had coached at Stanford. There he installed a pass-oriented version of the T-formation and, in his first year, engineered a turnaround from a 1–7–1 record to a perfect 10–0 season and Pacific Coast Conference championship.[3] While Maryland's head coach, Shaughnessy also worked concurrently as an advisor for the Washington Redskins, with that club and Maryland sharing the cost of his salary.[4] Shaughnessy helped develop Mont into a high-quality quarterback.[5] In 1942, with Mont under center, the Terrapins posted a 7–2 record.[2] That year, Mont was named an honorable mention All-American and ranked as the number-three passer in the nation.[1][6] Mont also played lacrosse for Maryland for the 1942 season.[7]

Military service

Mont put his college career on hold in order to join the United States Army as an infantryman and served in the Second World War. In 1945, he coached the 3rd Infantry Division football team which won the 7th Army championship. After returning to the United States, he coached the basketball and football teams at Fort Benning, Georgia.[8]

Return to college

After his military service, Mont returned to Maryland and played football for another season in 1946.[2] That season, Shaughnessy, one-time Maryland head coach in 1942, also returned from Pittsburgh. Shaughnessy again worked part-time as an advisor for the Washington Redskins, and he had some of the Maryland players assist him. Under the arrangement, Mont and Vic Turyn reportedly even called some plays for the Redskins.[4] Mont graduated from Maryland with a bachelor of science degree in 1947.[8] He played a second season on the lacrosse team in 1948.[7]

Professional playing career

Mont had been selected in the 12th round of the 1944 NFL Draft (114th overall) by the New York Giants.[9][10] In 1947, he went to play for the Washington Redskins.[10] He played as a back-up quarterback for three seasons, and at one point was the number-two behind the legendary Sammy Baugh.[8] In his first season, he saw action in four games, and recorded one interception on defense with a seven-yard return.[10]
In 1948, he played in 11 games including two starts. He recorded 12 completions on 28 attempts for 157 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also had 11 carries for 103 yards and one touchdown. On defense, he had two interceptions for 21 yards. That season, he was the Redskins' second leading passer behind Baugh.[10]
In 1949, he played in 12 games and made three of seven completions for 44 yards. He also recorded rushed 14 times for 75 yards and made eight receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, he recovered one fumble for a 45-yard return. That season, he was the Redskins' third leading passer behind Baugh and Harry Gilmer.[10]

Coaching career

Early positions

In 1949, Mont assisted at the University of Chattanooga, where he helped install a T-formation offense. In 1950, he served as an assistant coach with the Washington Redskins.[1]
Mont returned to his alma mater in 1951 to become the Maryland backfield coach under Jim Tatum, and he held that position through the 1955 season. During that time, he also worked with the U.S. Marine Corps' Parris Island football team, where he helped implement a split-T offense in 1954. Mont worked summers with the football team of the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City from 1953 to 1955. In 1955, he also worked for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. In December 1958, he was a coach for the Blue team in the Blue–Gray Football Classic.[8]


After Tatum resigned to coach at his own alma mater, North Carolina, Mont was appointed as his replacement in 1956.[11] In his first season, Maryland was riddled with injuries and posted a disappointing 2–7–1 record.[2][12] Mont had great difficulty recruiting to the same standard that his predecessor had,[13] but managed to secure Rod Breedlove, a highly-touted guard prospect.[12] Breedlove later went on to play eight years in the NFL and made a Pro Bowl appearance.
In 1957, the Terrapins improved to a 5–5 record. The highlight of the season was a game featuring Jim Tatum's return to College Park, Maryland. On October 19, at Byrd Stadium, Maryland met the North Carolina team led by their former head coach. The game also had in attendance Queen Elizabeth II who had expressed a wish to see her first game of American football. The Tar Heels were ranked 6th in the nation and possessed a 3–1 record. The Terrapins, on the other hand, were 1–3.[14] In the first quarter, Maryland halfback Howard Dare fumbled and North Carolina linebacker Jack Lineberger recovered the ball on the Terrapins' 44-yard line. North Carolina was subsequently forced to punt, but recovered it at the Maryland 35. On the ensuing possession, Tar Heel halfback Daley Goff rushed 11 yards for a touchdown. In the third quarter, Maryland gained excellent field position when Goff received a bad punt snap and the Terps took over on the Carolina 38-yard line. Maryland quarterback Bob Rusevlyan later scored on a one-yard sneak. In the fourth quarter, halfback Ted Kershner broke away for an 81-yard touchdown run. Fullback Jim Joyce capped a 67-yard drive with a 13-yard rush for a score. With a final result of 21–7, the Maryland players carried Mont to the Queen and Prince Philip's box.[15] Mont said it was a day that "I will revel in for the rest of my life."[14]
In 1958, however, Maryland again backslided with a 4–6 record and Mont subsequently resigned.


In 1959, Mont accepted a job as head coach and a professor of physical education at DePauw University.[8] While there, he compiled a 67–94–4 record.[16] In the rivalry with Wabash College, the Monon Bell Classic, Mont's teams posted a 12–5–1 record. He was twice bestowed most outstanding conference coach honors, including in 1967, when he was named the Indiana Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year.[1][17]
In 1964, Mont earned a Master of Science degree from Indiana University.[18] In 1973, he was inducted into the Maryland Sports Hall of Fame at the Hit and Run Club at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.[1]

After football

In 1972, he was appointed as the DePauw athletic director and the chairman of the department of physical education.[1] In 1977, Mont retired as head coach to devote his full energy to his duties as athletic director.[17] In 1987, he retired as athletic director.[19] He and his wife were living in Phoenix, Arizona during his later years.[19] Mont died of heart failure on January 1, 2012.[20]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Maryland Terrapins (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1956–1958)
1956 Maryland 2–7–1 0–3–1 4th

1957 Maryland 5–5–0 4–3–0 3rd

1958 Maryland 4–6–0 3–3–0 5th

Maryland: 11–18–1 9–8–1
DePauw Tigers (Indiana Collegiate Conference) (1959–1976)
1959 DePauw 1–7–1

1960 DePauw 3–5–1

1961 DePauw 5–4–0

1962 DePauw 5–4–0

1963 DePauw 5–4–0

1964 DePauw 2–7–0

1965 DePauw 2–6–1

1966 DePauw 3–6–0

1967 DePauw 6–2–1

1968 DePauw 6–3–0

1969 DePauw 2–7–0

1970 DePauw 4–5–0

1971 DePauw 1–8–0

1972 DePauw 2–7–0

1973 DePauw 6–3–0

1974 DePauw 7–3–0

1975 DePauw 5–5–0

1976 DePauw 2–8–0

DePauw: 67–94–4

Total: 78–112–5
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.

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