Price leaves Reed City with many memories

Monty Price
Monty Price

REED CITY — It was 20 years ago when Monty Price became head football coach at Reed City.

Two decades later, Price is ready to take on a new challenge.

He was hired last month as the new coach at Belding, and will, after Reed City’s school season ends, get ready for his new duties.

His Reed City teams won eight straight CSAA Gold titles and three straight district crowns. They advanced to the state semifinals in 2017 and a record of 147-64. Reed City made the playoffs 15 times during Price’s tenure.

Belding was 7-3 last season and has made the playoffs three straight years.

“I applied, went through the process of the interview and they offered me the job,” Price said. “I felt it was in my best interests to accept it.”

Price said he will be employed by the district and his other duties are being worked out. He has been a teacher, athletic director and principal during his years at Reed City.

He added there were a lot of factors to make the move at this particular time.

“It boils down to timing,” Price said. “Obviously, Belding has a great tradition. That was exciting. All the things that come with facilities and tradition, that’s a big piece. I also have family that live in the Belding community. With all of those things taken into consideration, it was the right move for me.”

Reed City graduated a large senior class with the 2018 football season, including Price’s son, quarterback Jackson Price.

Monty Price said it was still his intention to continue coaching at Reed City until the Belding job opened when coach Joe Schwander took the football position at Forest Hills Eastern.

Price volunteered as a Reed City coach in 1997 and was a freshman skipper in 1998. He took the varsity spot in 1999.

He leaves Reed City with plenty of memories.

“The biggest thing is I’ve been blessed and fortunate to work with a lot of outstanding coaches,” Price said. “I’ll miss that relationship. The biggest thing I’ll miss is the kids. I’ve coached hundreds of kids and they’ve been an outstanding group. I’ve had a chance to work with some amazing individuals. We wouldn’t be where we’re at today without their efforts.”

Price expects the Reed City program to remain strong as players wait for the announcement of a new coach. The Coyotes graduated a lot of seniors, but Price and his assistants have dealt with similar situations in the past.

“We really believe in the kids and I believe they’ll be in good hands and will have a chance to compete for a conference championship,” he said.

Belding has been 16-6 the past two seasons.

“They have a good group of kids coming back and I think the community is optimistic with the potential of that team,” Price said. “Obviously there’s still work to be done and we’ll address those issues and hopefully build a championship program.”

Belding plays in the OK Silver.

“There’s some great football programs in the OK Silver,” Price said. “You have Hopkins and Wyoming Kelloggsville and Godwin Heights. It’s tough to win anywhere. I’m sure it will be very competitive.”

Price is getting ready to set up a summer program at Belding and put together a coaching staff.

Belding has had the Wing T backfield in the past, and Price, who used it at Reed City, plans on bringing it back to the Black Knights.

“We’ll stick to what we know and what we teach the best and we’ll be running the T,” Price said. “I think the kids will be up to it. We’ll have to coach it very well. I think we’ll be OK.”

“Monty has obviously built a very successful program here in Reed City, developing great players, great assistant coaches, (Scott Shankel, Clayton Sims) and has left the program with many great memories,” Reed City athletic director Kurt Grangood said.

“I have no doubt he will do the same for the Belding football program. As we move forward, we want to make a smooth transition for the players, the program, and whoever become the new Coyote coach. During spring break, we (took in) all our options, got advice from the staff and others involved in the program, and started the process of finding the our next head coach.

“The first game of the year is at Montague, followed by the seven conference games, ending with rival, Pine River. We have good players returning, and several players from the JV squad that put together a very good season under Eric Grannis.”