Jim Montgomery: Road to Recovery

John Montgomery

The stigma of addiction often makes people think that it only affects lower class, non-working individuals. The truth is that addiction can happen to anyone who drinks or uses drugs. There is no forewarning with addiction, and anyone can fall victim to its grips. No one is immune unless they just do not consume alcohol or drugs whatsoever.


Addiction happens with athletes. 

Former Dallas Star hockey coach, Jim “Monty” Montgomery, for example, would probably not be considered someone who would battle alcohol addiction. Monty was a hockey player in high school and at the University of Maine, where he excelled. He started playing professionally right out of college for 12 seasons in different leagues, including the NHL, before retiring. 


After retiring as a player, he began coaching for college teams and junior hockey teams. He eventually won a national championship with the University of Denver, which led him to head coach status for the Dallas Stars in the 2018-2019 season. He suited up and showed up for games — and ultimately coached the Dallas Stars to the playoffs, making him beloved to the fans.


During his second season, Montgomery was fired without any initial explanation to the fans except for “unprofessional conduct.” Puzzled fans speculated that the newly implemented NHL campaign, “Hockey is for everyone,” which forbids intolerance of any form in the sport, might have been the reason. This belief continued as the number one theory until Monty finally made his statement to the Dallas Morning News in early January of 2020 that he needed help for the cessation of alcohol.  


Recovery happens with athletes.

After Montgomery stated he was seeking treatment for alcohol addiction, the Dallas Stars did not make any more comments about the situation; neither did Jim Montgomery (who had asked for privacy). Fast forward to March of 2020, Monty made another statement with the Dallas Morning News that he had been sober for over 90 days and that he was supported by his family. Due to a 3-week inpatient treatment program, daily 12-Step meetings, and therapy, he says he is “feeling great.” 


He realized that the immediate shame and guilt he felt not only affected him but his family as well. After getting the support and recovery he needs, he is going to keep moving forward in his recovery and eventually be in pursuit of coaching again. The most important realization he made is the quote that everyone with an addiction needs to hold onto: “Even though I made bad mistakes, I am not a bad person.


What a revelation for someone in sobriety to be brought to. Keep coming back, Monty, and keep shooting for the five-hole in recovery!  


If you, or someone you know, are struggling with drugs and alcohol, Valiant Living offers an “Expanded Recovery” program to help you find the solution to your addiction in recovery. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463