The University of Montana has officially announced that Bobby Hauck will be the next head coach of Griz Football. Although several outlets, led by Skyline Sports, first reported the news late Wednesday night—reports that were denied by UM—the university did not confirm Hauck’s hiring until Friday morning.
A press conference is to be held at 10:30 a.m. at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
Hauck has been a figure of controversy in Missoula in the week since he came to town to interview. The Independent published a story on Tuesday about the tension between his winning record and the off-field conduct of both Hauck and his players, and one about a local woman who started a petition asking the university not to hire Hauck because of that conduct. That woman was later doxxed on a Griz fan message board, as reported by the Missoulian.
Hauck’s success—he had an 80–17 record with the Griz from 2003 to 2009 and took the team to three national title games—made him a favorite candidate of many fans and boosters. He will be returning to Missoula from his most recent job as a special teams and assistant head coach for San Diego State University. Hauck also was the head coach at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas from 2010 to 2014, when the team went 15–49.
See also our play-play-play breakdown of Griz gridiron scandal and success from 2006–2012, originally published in 2012, after then-UM President Royce Engstrom fired Athletic Director Jim O'Day and head football coach Robin Pflugrad.
— update —
At the press conference, Athletic Director Kent Haslam immediately addressed the harassment of Lisa Davey, the woman who was doxxed. Hauck also mentioned Davey, and spoke with her individually afterwards. Both of them said that the message board-initiated harassment of Davey is counter to the values of respect central to Griz fandom.
“I’m sorry to see my return associated with the troubles” that the university and city had in the years after his departure, Hauck told the room. “I’m the father of three daughters, and I’m also the father of a college-aged son, and I worry about all of them.”
During the media Q&A, Hauck also attempted to mend fences with the Kaimin student newspaper. “Who’s with the student newspaper? Student reporter? You guys go first,” Hauck said, setting off a round of applause and laughter. The student reporter, Nick Puckett, asked Hauck what he wanted his legacy to be. Hauck replied that he would like it to be a positive one.
Later, the Independent asked Hauck what he, personally, would say to his players about their interactions with women. “Respect women. It’s that simple. Respect their space, respect their opinion,” said Hauck.
And had there been any discussion in the interview process about the impact of football success on the university’s fortunes as a whole? “I would tell you, ‘Hey, go back and look at the enrollment at this university and see if it correlates to the success of the football program.’ That would be a good research project,” Hauck said.