Former Tim Montez pupils enjoy banner MLB season
Four former players under Tim Montez enjoyed career years on the pro level.
Four former players under Tim Montez enjoyed career years on the pro level.
JU associate head coach Tim Montez can watch the MLB playoffs this season proudly as four of his former players wrapped up a solid 2011 season.

His former Arkansas pitcher now current Philadelphia Phillies ace Cliff Lee finished the campaign ranked third overall in ERA (2.40) while tallying a 17-8 record. Detroit’s Doug Fister (Frenso State) finished 10th in ERA (2.38) after enjoying a resurgence since joining the Tigers in a midseason trade. Matt Garza, another former Fresno State protégé, posted a 3.32 ERA to finish 25th overall in his first season with the Chicago Cubs.

Montez’s former UC Santa Barbara standout and current Texas Rangers designated hitter Michael Young posted the third highest batting average in Major League Baseball at .338 and tied Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez for the most hits (213).

“It was a privilege recruiting and coaching these young men back in their college days,” Montez said. “Truth be known, I probably learned more from them than they did from me. This is a fun time of the year for them and I will be like a kid in a candy store watching them compete in the playoffs on a national stage.”

In 21 seasons, Montez has coached, recruited or worked with 15 major league players including Barry Zito (San Francisco Giants), Eric Hinske (Atlanta Braves), Adam Kennedy (Seattle Mariners) and the recently retired Russ Ortiz, as well as the players previously mentioned

In his six years at JU, the Dolphins have earned their first A-Sun regular-season title (2006), two A-Sun Conference Championships (2007, 2009) and four appearances in the NCAA Regionals (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011). The back-to-back appearances in 2007 and 2008 was accomplished for only the second time (1994-95) while JU’s three appearances in the last four years in the most successful run in program history.

Montez has also served as a pitching coach with Fresno State Arkansas, Cal State Northridge, UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine. Montez has helped lead four teams to the NCAA postseason, (Pepperdine -1, UCSB - 1, Arkansas - 3, Jacksonville - 4), including an appearance in the Super Regional (Arkansas in 2002).