An NFL football pro who became a high profile mental health advocate, a decorated Iraq War veteran, and a community volunteer known as “Red Bank’s Mom” are among the five distinguished alumni of Red Bank Regional High School who will be inducted into RBR’s Hall of Fame. The annual ceremony takes place this Friday, April 25, with a program that commences at 9 am in the school auditorium.
Entering the Hall of Fame for 2014 is Greg Montgomery, the Class of 1983 athlete who made the Bucs teams as both a baseball pitcher and a middle linebacker. A weightlifting back injury steered him to a specialty in punting and placekicking, and it was as a punter that he earned a scholarship to Penn State in ’83, transferring to Michigan State (alma mater of his quarterback father Greg Sr.) in ’84 and making the MSU All Time team before moving on to a nine-year NFL career (1988-97) with the Houston Oilers, Detroit Lions and the inaugural roster of the Baltimore Ravens.
While the All Pro specialist averaged 43.6 yards per punt during his seasons on the field (finishing his career with 22,831 total yards) his final year found him “in a professional camp, I was the best punter on the planet and had absolutely no confidence.” Suffering with depression and the ongoing intense pain from what turned out to be a broken vertebrae, the onetime Little Silver resident was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder — and in the years since his retirement from the gridiron has emerged as a leading advocate for the mental, physical and financial health of pro football veterans; blogging regularly on the topic, appearing on TV, and participating in a documentary film in between his services as an in-demand punting expert and consultant.
Joining Montgomery in the 2014 Hall of Fame are Tiffaney M. Harris (Class of 1989), long time Red Bank School District staff member and community volunteer; Dr. James Burden, D.M.D. (Class of 1991), dental practitioner who serves as mobile dentist to the elderly and infirm; and Brian Steckroth (Class of 1998), US Naval Academy Graduate, All-American and decorated combat veteran. The inductee group also includes faculty honoree Seymour Siegler, Ed.D., a biology teacher and guidance counselor at Red Bank High School from 1957-72, and a co-founder of the Holocaust Museum at Brookdale Community College.
During Friday morning’s induction ceremony, several RBR Buccaneer student newspaper writers will read the biographies they each wrote on the Distinguished Alumni, who will also give brief remarks. Following the ceremony, the Alumni will be treated to a special brunch prepared by RBR’s Culinary Art students in the RBR media center. RBR Visual & Performing Art students will provide musical accompaniment, and the alumni will also be presented with special proclamations by municipal and state officials immediately following the luncheon.
The annual Hall of Fame inductions are presented by the nonprofit Red Bank Regional High School Education Foundation (RBREF) as a way of honoring RBR graduates who have enjoyed long distinguished careers in their profession, and as community leaders and volunteers. Additionally, the special student guests invited represent those with promise to become future distinguished alumni.