Michigan State All-American punter Greg Montgomery dies at 55

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Greg Montgomery, a former All-American punter at Michigan State who went on to a play nine seasons in the NFL, died on Aug. 23 at the age of 55.

The obituary published by the Grand Rapids Press said Montgomery had been outspoken about his struggles with bipolar disorder but “unfortunately succumbed to his illness he bravely combated for many years.”

Greg Montgomery

A native of Shrewsbury, New Jersey, Montgomery was a first-team All-American in 1986 and 1987 while earning first-team All-Big Ten honors three straight seasons from 1985-87. He is still Michigan State’s leader in punting average (45.2 yards per punt), which also ranks second all-time in the Big Ten.

As a junior in 1986, Montgomery set a Big Ten record that still stands today, averaging 49.7 yards per punt in conference games. His overall average of 47.8 yards set a school single-season record at the time and still ranks second best in the record book. During that season, Montgomery also kicked a school-record 86-yard punt against Michigan while he recorded at least one punt of 50 yards or more in 33 of 35 games.

In his senior season, Montgomery helped Michigan State win the Big Ten championship and beat Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl.

Montgomery was taken in the third round (No. 72 overall) of the NFL Draft in 1988 by the Houston Oilers. He was a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler in 1993 after leading the NFL in punting (45.6-yard average), something he did three times in his career. After six seasons in Houston, Montgomery played in 1994 with the Detroit Lions and kicked for the Baltimore Ravens in 1996-97.

Montgomery's father, Greg Sr., played quarterback at Michigan State in 1957-58 under Duffy Daugherty, while his brother, Steve, was a three-year letterwinner (1987-89) as a fullback under George Perles.