The Boston College football program will honor Lou Montgomery by retiring his jersey at halftime of tomorrow's season opener against Miami. A Brockton, Mass. native, Montgomery was the first African-American football player to play for the program who helped the Eagles win 19 of 20 regular season games during his junior and senior seasons.
Due to the racial segregation customs of the era, Montgomery was not allowed to participate in either the 1940 Cotton Bowl or the 1941 Sugar Bowl against teams from the South. He traveled with the team for both the Eagles' 6-3 loss to Clemson in the Cotton Bowl and 19-13 victory over Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl but was unable to participate in either game.
The school will retire his jersey in a ceremony at halftime. Montgomery's jersey will be displayed on the southeast facade of Alumni Stadium along with the commemorative jerseys of seven other former Boston College football greats -- Art Donovan, Bill Flynn, Gene Goodreault, Mike Holovak, Charles O'Rourke, Tony Thurman and Louis Urban. Doug Flutie's #22 and Mike Ruth's #68 numbers have also been retired by the school.
Montgomery, who passed away in 1993 at the age of 72, will be represented by his three children, two granddaughters, a great-granddaughter and 20 other family members and friends at the ceremony.