Hauck signs 3-year deal with Griz

Jan. 25—MISSOULA — When you have an excellent final year of your contract, chances are you'll get a new one — and Bobby Hauck got his, agreeing to a three-year deal to remain the Montana Grizzlies football coach.

Hauck is the winningest football coach in Big Sky Conference history, and 49-19 in his second stint at Montana: He returned in 2018 after guiding the Grizzlies from 2003-09.

Overall he is 129-36 in 12 seasons, with trips to the Division I Football Championship in 2004, 2008-09 and this past season.

The 2023 season saw the Grizzlies tear off 10 straight wins, including a Big Sky Conference championship-clinching, 37-7 win over Montana State. It was their 19th Big Sky title, and eighth under Hauck's leadership.

"I'm excited to continue representing the Montana Grizzlies, the University of Montana, and the state of Montana as the head football coach," Hauck said in a Thursday release from UM. "We've won a lot of playoff games and been highly competitive over the last six seasons, culminating in an appearance in the national championship game this year.

"We want to continue to bring more championships to Montana and are looking forward to that challenge. I am appreciative of the University, our president Seth Bodnar, (athletic director) Kent Haslam, and all the other people that make this the best college football environment in the country."

Montana has advanced to the FCS playoffs four of the five full seasons since Hauck returned, with two quarterfinal appearances ahead of this year's march to Frisco, Texas. The Grizzlies lost to South Dakota State 23-3 in the title game on Jan. 7, finishing 13-2.

Hauck, a Big Timber native and UM alumnus, was named the Big Sky Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career and the AFCA Region 5 Coach of the Year for the third time. He was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year a second time.

"I am excited Coach Hauck is under contract for three more years. The football coaching staff and student-athletes are coming off an amazing season and I am happy we are maintaining continuity in the leadership of the Griz football program," Haslam said. "Coach Hauck is passionate about the University of Montana and developing young men both on and off the field. I appreciate his hard work and commitment."

Since his return the Grizzlies have posted the best GPAs in program history, with the team averaging a 3.0 or better each semester. In his 12 seasons, 274 of Hauck's players have earned a place on All-Big Sky Academic teams.

Hauck has also been recognized for his efforts in the community as the 2023 recipient of the Grant Teaff "Breaking the Silence" Award by the Jason Foundation at the AFCA Convention in January, honoring a head coach that has exceeded expectations as a National Awareness Ambassador, helping spread awareness of youth suicide.

Montana will open the 2024 season on Aug. 31 against Missouri State in Missoula.