Sandcrabs Athletics Director Brad Montgomery wants Seabreeze to have the top athletics program in the county.
Brad Montgomery was hired as Seabreeze High School's athletics director entering of the 2018-19 school year. Before coming to Seabreeze, he spent four years as the athletics director at Pine Ridge and was a long time girls basketball coach in Indiana. He recently spoke with the Ormond Beach Observer about his thoughts on the Sandcrabs' athletic success during the 2018-19 school year and what's to come for the future of Seabreeze sports. Here's what he had to say:
Q: After four years as the athletics director at Pine Ridge, why the move to Seabreeze?
I actually live not even a half mile from here. It was just a natural progression. I wanted to be on this side of town.
Q: Overall, what did you think of the performance of Seabreeze's teams over the past school year?
Overall, the first year was a success in most of our sports. Some of our bigger team sports, we have a little work to do, but we’re in the process of doing that right now.
Q: What were some of your goals for your first year as the Sandcrabs' athletics director?
My goals were to keep things steady — to keep things moving in the right direction because this is a magnificent place to work. Their athletics department has always been run pretty well. And it’s a process of just trying to make good better.
Q: What's your philosophy as an athletics director? How do you like to run your department?
I try to put the right people in the right places and let them do their jobs and to support them. A lot of new coaches have come in, and we support them and try to give them what they need. We council them on how to run things in this athletics program.
Q: Do you foresee any changes going on here at Seabreeze? Are there going to be any new additions, or are there any projects your currently working on?
We have a lot of new things going on. We’re getting a new track, new additions to the track, a pole vault and a new triple jump and long jump pit that will allow us to host meets. We’re in search of equipment to host those meets, so as soon as they get done with the track, we’ll get that into play. We’re also getting a brand new gym floor. It’s all new wood and a new design. We’re going to mesh tradition with the new and make it exciting for the kids to be in there.
Editor's note: The gym is expected to be completed before the first day of volleyball practice on July 29. There's no timetable currently for resurfacing the track.
Q: Jeff Lemon, the baseball coach, was your first hire as Seabreeze's athletics director. How do you think that's worked out so far?
It was a great hire. It was a great way to start off my career here. We showed great strides. But we have a lot of new head coaches here.
Q: It's no secret that Seabreeze's football team has struggled in recent years. What do you think about the direction of the program under new head coach Pat Brown, another guy you hired?
It goes back to what I said before. It’s from a philosophy of the principal who hired me at Pine Ridge. You get the right person and you put them in the right place. Pat Brown presented himself as the right person to take over Seabreeze football. The direction he has them going in now, the work they’re doing this summer, is the right direction. We’re definitely supporting what he and his coaching staff are doing because in Volusia County, people talk football.
Q: What are your long term goals here at Seabreeze?
We have such a great past and tradition here at Seabreeze. We have 22 state championships at this school. I want to focus in on that, but I also want to move toward the future of where our athletics is going. I don’t want to talk in the past tense. I want to start talking in present and future tense. Where we are right now, and where we’re going to go. And you can see that in the coaches we’ve hired.
Q: How do you think you were embraced your first year on campus?
I think the people were very nice here. They took me on and showed me how things were run here. They were very accommodating to me. They’ve been very, very good about adapting to some changes to the sports programs.
Q: Is there anything you want to do differently with how you run your program going forward?
We’re not going to stay put. We’re going to keep moving forward. We’ve got the best academics in the county. We’ve got the best fine arts in the county. And for a well-rounded student, we have to throw athletics in there. If we have the best athletics program in the county, then we’re definitely going to be the best school in the county. It’s up to me and my coaches to make sure we move forward athletically.