Dodge City native and NFL player Mike Montgomery

Kathie Bell
Special to the Globe
An ad promoting Dodge City High School football star Mike Montgomery. SUBMITTED PHOTO

This Red Demons' National Football League career was cut short, but he scored 10 touchdowns during 37 games while playing for three NFL teams.

James Michael (Mike) Montgomery was born on July 10, 1949 in Wichita Falls, Texas. But he made his way to Dodge City where he attended Dodge City High School.

Mike served as student council president and participated in all-conference basketball, but it was in playing football where he excelled.

In 1966, Montgomery's senior year, the Dodge City Red Demons played nine games, winning them all. Unfortunately, there was no play-off system in place at that time, so the Demons only took a league championship.

However, the Associated Press rated the team third in Kansas.

Mike Montgomery was a star player on that team - one of the best teams in Red Demon history. He was a versatile performer under legendary coach J.C. Riekenberg, switching from quarterback to running back. The "Wichita Eagle" chose him as the most valuable high school running back in Kansas in 1966.

Upon high school graduation, Montgomery accepted a scholarship from Kansas State University to play football under coach Vince Gibson. Here, he played both running back and wide receiver.

In 1969, he rushed for 408 yards and had 217 receiving yards with four touchdowns. During his senior year he rushed 436 yards and ran 386 receiving yards, again with four touchdowns. Eventually, he graduated from K-State with a BA in Biology.

San Diego chose Montgomery in the third round of the 1971 NFL draft - the 65th pick overall. Multitalented, he successfully served the Chargers as running back, wide receiver, quarterback and on special teams. During his single season with San Diego he scored three touchdowns and passed one as quarterback. He also had two fumble recoveries on special teams.

In 1972, the Chargers traded him and one other player to the Dallas Cowboys for running back Duane Thomas, who the Chargers desperately sought. For two years he played for the renowned coach Tom Landry.

In his first year he was a backup running back and had three touchdowns - one as a recovered fumble, one as a reception and one rushing.

The next year, though he fell to an injury, he scored three touchdowns as wide receiver for the Cowboys.

In 1974, Dallas traded him to the Houston Oilers. Early in the season he had a knee injury and later suffered complications from the surgery. Still he played five games that season and received a pass for a touchdown.

However, he never completely recovered from his injury, and in August 1976 was released from the NFL.

Mike Montgomery when on to be an investment advisor and also worked in the oil and gas business. Even after he left the NFL, he still served the league as president of the NFL Alumni Chapter for several years in the early 1990's.

This organization helps children's charities with its annual Cowboy Luncheon and Golf Tournament.

In 2019, the Dodge City High School Ring of Honor inducted Montgomery as an outstanding alumni. Today he, his wife Deborah, and two adult children live in Dallas.