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Philip Montgomery returning to Tulsa in 2020

Tulsa has retained Philip Montgomery for a sixth season in 2020, AD Derrick Gragg told the Tulsa World on Thursday.

“This football program has enjoyed a lot of success over the last 15 years in particular – 10 bowl games in the last 15 years – but we haven’t been bowl-eligible the past three consecutive years,” Gragg told the paper. “Everyone involved finds that unacceptable.

“Going forward, we do feel confident that Philip Montgomery is the coach who can get us back to championship-level football. He’s had the program at that level and competed for a division championship (in 2016). But we expect to be bowl-eligible at the base of it as far as a goal program-wise.”

Montgomery is 25-37 through five years on the job. His 2016 team went 10-3, won a share of the AAC West Division championship, scoring at least 30 points in 12 of their 13 games.

After that, though, the Golden Hurricane has gone 2-10, 3-9 and then 4-8 this fall. This year's team held a 21-point fourth quarter lead over 10-win SMU before falling in triple overtime and lost 42-41 to 11-1 Memphis on a missed field goal at the buzzer.

“We were competitive. The past couple of years we weren’t as competitive. This year we were competitive. We were a team to be reckoned with and I think everybody realized that and recognized that especially within the conference.”

It's clear Gragg thinks the overall health of the program is better than the 4-8 season indicates. It's also clear Tulsa needs to reach a bowl game in 2020.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.