By Mike Kinney
The Hercules community is mourning the death of Coach Gerald Montgomery, 59, a longtime, beloved and influential member of the Hercules High staff and the local community.
West Contra Costa Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Chris Hurst announced today “with great sadness” that Montgomery died on Sunday. The cause of his death has not yet been revealed.
While Montgomery was affectionately known as “Coach G,” Dr. Hurst called him “Mr. Hercules” for the “17 years he worked at Hercules High – doing things like hosting barbecues for students and staff, always looking out for everybody else.”
Dr. Hurst also called Montgomery a role model for many students, particularly student-athletes at Hercules High, “checking on their grades and staying on their case to be the best they can be.”
“Coach G was so much more than a coach and the CS supervisor at Hercules High School,” the superintendent said.
He added that the district is providing social workers to support the Hercules community with this loss.
In addition to the superintendent, Montgomery’s passing elicited tributes from his colleagues at Hercules High. The Hercules Police Department additionally released a statement to further describe his impact in the community.
“With a devastated heart we share the news of the passing of a Titan great, Coach Gerald Montgomery, ‘Coach G,’ the school said in a statement.
The school expressed deep gratitude to have had Montgomery on its staff, describing his character in length: “Coach G brought passion, mentorship, parenting, guidance, discipline, protection, commitment, character building, skill development, installment of values, honor, the energy, the “ROAR”, to Hercules High School each and every day!”
The Hercules Police Department echoed the sentiments, calling Montgomery “a great man” who “dedicated his heart and soul to the community, the students, alumni, athletes and staff.”
“The week before his departure, he’d spent endless hours preparing for final senior events, five graduations, and the end of the year BBQ for his work team,” the Police Department added. “The amount of love he poured into the community is unmatched. Students, faculty, and our [School Resource Officers] consistently sought him out as a resource, a listening ear, and simple chit-chat. All will greatly miss him.”
Rodney “Alamo” Brown, a Richmond community advocate and founder of Soulful Softball Sunday who also covers sports for CBS Sports Digital Media, said Montgomery dedicated over 30 years of community service to youth sports. He’s coached Pop Warner Football with the Berkeley Cougars, along with the Richmond Athletic Youth Association (RAYA) baseball, Richmond PAL Basketball, and many other teams including Hercules High School girls and boys basketball, football, and baseball. He groomed numerous college scholarship athletes, Brown said, including Emany Johnson, who is in his final season as the starting cornerback for the University of Reno football team.
“Montgomery was a dedicated coach and ambassador of the game,” Brown said.
As the flyer states below, a “Friday Night Lights Memorial Service” will honor Coach G this Friday, June 17, at the Hercules High football field, 1900 Refugio Valley Rd from 7-9 p.m.