Greg Montgomery, a former NFL punter who played for the Houston Oilers, Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens, passed away on August 23, 2020, at the age of 55.
A Stellar Career Cut Short by Mental Illness
Montgomery was a standout punter who led the NFL in yards per punt average three times (1990, 1992, 1993), was selected to one Pro Bowl and First-team All-Pro (1993), and finished his career with 22,831 punting yards and 120 punts inside the opponents 20 yard line.
Montgomery also holds the Big Ten record by averaging 49.7 yards per punt at Michigan State in 1986, where he was an All-American.
However, his promising career was cut short by mental illness, which he struggled with since his college days. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1996, after a series of erratic behaviors that led to his release from the Lions.
A Life Dedicated to Raising Awareness and Helping Others
After his retirement, Montgomery dedicated his life to raising awareness and helping others who suffer from mental illness. He founded ZenPunt 5.0, a company that provides coaching and mentoring services for athletes and non-athletes.
Montgomery was passionate about breaking the stigma and the silence surrounding mental illness, especially in the sports world. He believed that mental health is as important as physical health, and that people should not be ashamed to seek help and support.
Montgomery is survived by his son, Cole, his parents, Gregory Sr. and Janis, his sister, Kristen, and his former wife, Susie. He is remembered as a loving father, a caring son, a loyal brother, a supportive friend, and a courageous fighter.
He will be greatly missed by his family, his friends, his fans, and his fellow mental health warriors