ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — For the past 13 seasons, Mike Montgomery has been the head coach of the South Anchorage High School boys’ soccer team, along with serving as an assistant coach for the girls’ soccer team.
This spring, the South High soccer program will be without its longtime coach, after he was fired last week. Tuesday, South Principal Wendy Pondolfino held a closed door meeting for about 75 parents and players to discuss who will lead the team next season.
Those at the meeting said it stuck to a strictly timed agenda, leaving many Montogomery supporters with little time to discuss how his firing was handled, or if he would be able to come back next season.
"There was a lot of frustration, it's about what's best for the kids, and we have to come together right now,” said Craig Currier who’s had two daughters play for Montgomery. “As parents and kids we have to move on from whatever happened."
Currier was at the meeting, and said parents were not told why Montgomery was fired, just that it was a personal issue.
Last week, an email was sent out to South soccer parents and shared with KTUU. In it, Pondolfino wrote that she felt it was in the best interest of SAHS to release Montgomery as the school's boys head soccer coach.
“I can tell you this situation is very different than the events surrounding Dimond High School,” wrote Pondolfino in the email.
Tuesday night, Currier said Pondolfino apologized for how this news was initially released.
A person who did not want to be identified told KTUU they supported the schools decision to fire Montgomery, and said he made degrading remarks to players along with showing favoritism to certain players.
Montgomery has been coaching prep soccer for over twenty years in Alaska, and was considered one of the most successful coaches in the state’s history.
The Wolverines have won 10 state titles since the school opened its doors in the 2004-2005 school year.
A search committee will be formed to find a new head coach, and is expected to be named by November 1st.