It’s official: Hauck returns to coach Griz

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FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2014, file photo, UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck watches his team warm up before an NCAA football game against the Northern Colorado in Las Vegas. Hauck is back as the football coach at Montana, a program he led to three FCS national championship games. The university said in a statement Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, that Hauck agreed to a three-year contract taking him through the 2020 season. Other terms were not immediately released.(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Former Grizzly football head coach Bobby Hauck is coming back to Missoula.

Director of Athletics Kent Haslam on Friday named Hauck, current San Diego State associate head coach, as the 37th head football coach at the University of Montana.

On Thursday, Hauck agreed to a three-year contract, which will take him through the 2020 season.

The University of Montana alum returns to his home state after five seasons as the head coach at UNLV, and three seasons serving as San Diego State’s associate head coach and special teams coordinator.

“I look forward to working with coach Hauck and the football staff in advancing the overall mission of the athletic department. A mission focused on success in the community, in athletics, and in the classroom. We will not compromise on our pursuit of excellence in everything we do. Coach Hauck’s previous success on the football field at the University of Montana is well known and I expect that will continue. I also expect we will continue to build a culture of hard work, respect and accountability,” said Haslam.

Hauck will be formally reintroduced to the Montana football community and media in a press conference set for Friday at 10:30 a.m. in the Washington-Grizzly Stadium Canyon Club. The press conference will be broadcast live via the team’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be able to come back home to a place that is so important to me. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue the tradition of excellence at the University of Montana. I am absolutely committed to success both on and off the field. I cannot wait to get started, and look forward to being a strong advocate for the University as a whole,” said Hauck in a statement.

Hauck spent seven years as Montana’s head coach from 2003 and 2009. He led the Grizzlies to three national championship appearances and won seven-straight Big Sky Championships. He began his coaching career with the Grizzlies in 1988 after earning a bachelor’s degree in business and physical education at Montana in 1987.

He is a three-time Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year, and was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award in 2009.

In his first stint as head coach, Hauck posted an overall 80-17 record, an 82 percent winning average.

“Griz Nation welcomes Coach Hauck back to the University of Montana. This process has moved quickly, but deliberately, and with in-depth discussions of our expectations. I’ve appreciated that dialogue from a diversity of perspectives, because it speaks to the heartfelt admiration for our university shared by so many,” said University of Montana President Sheila Stearns.

Incoming University of Montana President Seth Bodnar spoke with Hauck this week as well, sharing his vision for all student-athletes at UM.

“Coach Hauck and I discussed my unwavering commitment to all of our students’ well-being and success, and the critical importance of building a respectful and positive culture – in athletics and across the university. We will hold ourselves accountable and live these values through our actions. I know that Coach Hauck has a deep love for this institution and our state, which is his home. As a former Division I student-athlete myself, I believe that our athletic programs play a key role in developing young women and men of character. I look forward to working with Athletic Director Haslam, Coach Hauck, and all our coaches as we commit to that work,” said incoming University of Montana President Seth Bodnar.

Hauck was born in Missoula and went to high school in Big Timber. He and his wife Stacy have four children: Alexandra, Elise, Robby and Sydney.

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