DU hockey coach becomes U.S. citizen after 27 years

Congrats to Coach Montgomery!

The head coach of the University of Denver hockey team, Jim Montgomery, knows who he's cheering for in the Olympics.

"I'm all USA now," he says.

Montgomery, who's originally from Montreal, Canada, became a U.S. citizen on Wednesday after 27 years in the United States.

The coach began playing hockey at age 5 in Canada, and then came to the U.S. in 1989 to play for the University of Maine, where he earned a business administration degree.

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Montgomery played in the NHL from 1993 to 2005. He also worked as an assistant coach on the collegiate level, and as a head coach and general manager in the United States Hockey League, before coming to DU.

Montgomery met his wife, Emily, in St. Louis. He says he wanted to become a citizen for his family.

"For my kids and my wife and my family, I thought it was the right thing to do," he told 9NEWS Sports. "It's about time."

Forty-seven people from 25 countries became citizens at a ceremony Wednesday, at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Centennial.

Following the event, Montgomery told the organizers, “Feels wonderful. It’s one of the proudest moments of my life.”