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Bemidji State men's basketball: Assistant coach Tiers steps down, Montgomery promoted

Bemidji State assistant men's basketball coach Jeremy Tiers is leaving the program to be closer to his family and pursue a coaching career in Indiana.

Tiers, who came to BSU when current head coach Matt Bowen was hired in 2006, is relocating to Indianapolis with his wife Jenni and daughter Olivia.

"When Matt hired me we had a vision for the program and I think we accomplished that," Tiers said. "We wanted to bring in top Minnesota high school players and make the community proud of our players. We've been able to boost attendance every year, raise graduation rates every year and raise our team grade point average every year."

The assistant coach opening was filled when Bowen appointed Ryan Montgomery to the position after serving the last two years as the team's graduate assistant coach. Kevin Williams was named to the graduate assistant position.

Tiers played an integral role in recruitment and developing the youth basketball camp program during his four years at BSU.

"He was simply outstanding at his chief jobs: making player contacts, evaluating high school kids and staying on top of it all," Bowen said. "All the players we have today he's had a hand in bringing here. If we have some success over the next few years, that's something he can take a lot of pride in."

Tiers estimated he made between 150-200 recruiting trips from Bemidji to Minneapolis to scout high school games as BSU's assistant coach.

"Before we came here, I don't think high school coaches, AAU coaches or other members of the local basketball community had much of a relationship with Bemidji State," Tiers said. "One of our goals was to increase the visibility of basketball in the community and I think we've done that."

Prior to coming to Bemidji State, Tiers was the assistant coach for two years at Hamline in St. Paul and an assistant coach at Park Center (Brooklyn Park) from 1999-2004.

Promoting Montgomery to assistant coach was a natural decision for Bowen.

"He just finished up his graduate degree and he really earned the position," Montgomery said. "He's been here for two years and he has experience in how to run a program and he knows what Bemidji State basketball is all about."

Montgomery is a 2002 Plainview High School graduate and he went on to be a four-year basketball letter winner at Hamline when Tiers coached there. He coached the 2007 season at Plainview-Elgin-Millville High School before coming to Bemidji State.

Bowen discovered Williamson on a recent recruiting trip to Arizona. That trip brought junior guard James Ellisor and junior center Ryan Kinnell to BSU as transfer additions for the 2010-11 season.

Williamson, 25, played college basketball at the University of Great Falls in Montana and has some high school and collegiate coaching experience.

"The way it usually goes is that you go on a trip with a coach to a new area and find players, not go to a place to find players and get a new coach," Bowen said. "But when I was down in Arizona in different places some people turned me on to this guy. That's how this worked out."