For Bobby Hauck and Montana, it’s déjà vu all over again.
It was reported earlier in the week that Hauck was expected to return to Montana for his second-go-round with the Griz. Not surprisingly, the university has confirmed as much as Hauck was officially named as Montana’s new head football coach.
Hauck had spent the past three seasons as the associate head coach and special teams coordinator at San Diego State.
“I look forward to working with Coach Hauck and the football staff in advancing the overall mission of the athletic department,” athletic director Kent Haslam said in a statement. “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.”
Hauck was born in Missoula, Montana, and graduated from the University of Montana, even as he never played college football for the Grizzlies. After beginning his coaching career at his alma mater in 1988, the 53-year-old Hauck ultimately returned to the Griz as head coach in 2003 after stops at, among others, UCLA, Colorado and Washington.
In seven seasons, Hauck guided Montana to an 80-17 record and appearances in the FCS playoffs each of those years. After a second consecutive loss in the FCS championship game in 2009, Hauck left for the same position at UNLV; after going 15-49 in Las Vegas, he “resigned” as the Rebels head coach in the middle of the 2014 season.
The past eight seasons, the Griz have qualified for the playoffs four times.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be able to come back home to a place that is so important to me,” Hauck, who was given a three-year contract, said. “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.”