J.W. Montgomery said Saturday he has resigned as Lower Richland's football coach, citing what he said were "personal and family" reasons for the decision.
The 40-year-old Montgomery, Lower Richland's coach for the past four seasons, said he and his wife discussed his situation over the Thanksgiving weekend. He informed Lower Richland officials of his decision this week.
"For family and personal reasons I felt it was best for me not to stay," Montgomery said. "That's pretty much it right now."
Lower Richland athletics director Robin Bacon said the school had been happy with Montgomery's work.
"He did a great job for us and is a good guy," Bacon said. "We hate to lose him."
Though his teams never posted a winning record, Montgomery achieved a level of success at Lower Richland that had not seen in nearly two decades.
The Diamond Hornets went 4-7 in 2008 and qualified for the playoffs. Montgomery entered this season hoping to advance the program further, eyeing a six- or seven-win season.
This season began in promising fashion as Lower Richland topped city rival Dreher 34-7. But the Diamond Hornets dropped their next seven games, falling out of playoff contention in Region 4-3A and finishing 2-8 overall, 1-4 in the region.
Still, Bacon said the next Lower Richland coach is inheriting a program in better shape than when Montgomery arrived in 2006.
"Coach Montgomery has done a good job turning us around in the right direction," Bacon said. "We're looking to find someone with championship experience who can build on the work coach Montgomery has done."
Montgomery said he will finish the school year teaching at Lower Richland before determining his next move. He said he does see himself coaching again. In the meantime, he and his wife will enjoy the time with their daughter, 2-year-old daughter, Jayla.