WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12, 2009
Tim Montez continues to produce Major League talent
Tim Montez has had 36 of his pitchers sign professional contracts and has coached or recruited 15 major league players.
Tim Montez has had 36 of his pitchers sign professional contracts and has coached or recruited 15 major league players.
JU associate head coach/pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Tim Montez can add another pupil to his list of major league players as former Fresno State pitcher Doug Fister took the hill for the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 9, 2009.

Fister, who played for Montez at Fresno State, hurled a scoreless inning relief in Seattle’s 10-4 loss to Tampa Bay in his major league debut.

Montez recruited Fister, who was a draft and follow out of Merced Junior College, and was also a sixth-round pick by the New York Yankees after the 2005 season. Fister eventually signed with the Mariners after being selected in the seventh round of the 2006 draft.

“Doug was one of the best teammates that I have ever coached,” said Montez. “He always put the team first and was always willing to learn about the art of pitching. I couldn’t be happier for Doug and his wonderful family back in Merced, Calif.”

Along with Fister, another former Montez pupil made his way back to the majors as Justin Lehr, who Montez recruited at UC Santa Barbara, allowed three runs in a five inning no-decision for the Cincinnati Reds against Colorado on July 31. He followed that effort with a complete game shutout win against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 5. Lehr had not pitched in the majors since 2006 when he was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.

“I can remember telling Justin, when we were recruiting him at UCSB, that he would end up pitching for a living,” Montez said. “He was a catcher and pitcher out of high school, but he had a tremendous arm and could throw a heck of a curve ball for strikes anytime he wanted. He has paid his dues down in the minors and richly deserves this opportunity.”

In 18 seasons as an assistant coach at the Division I level, Montez has seen 36 pitchers sign professional contracts and has coached, recruited or worked with 15 major league players including Matt Garza (Tampa Bay Rays), Cliff Lee (Philadelphia Phillies), Michael Young (Texas Rangers), Russ Ortiz (Houston Astros), Barry Zito (San Francisco Giants), Adam Kennedy (Oakland Athletics) and Eric Hinske (New York Yankees).

Montez also served as a pitching coach with Arkansas, Cal State Northridge, UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine and has coached in the NCAA Regionals eight times (Pepperdine -1, UCSB - 1, Arkansas - 3, Jacksonville - 3), including a spot in the Super Regional (Arkansas, 2002).

In four years at JU, the Dolphins have earned their first A-Sun regular-season title (2006), two A-Sun Conference Championships (2007, 2009) and three appearances in the NCAA Regionals (2006, 2007, 2009). The back-to-back appearances in 2007 & 2008 was accomplished for only the second time (1994-95) while JU’s three appearances in the last four years in the most successful run in program history.