Montana State coach Jeff Choate is 1-0 against rival Montana. (SLIM KIMMEL/MTN Sports)

(Editor’s note: Montana State athletics release)

BOZEMAN — Montana State University has extended head football coach Jeff Choate’s contract for three years, Director of Athletics Leon Costello announced Thursday.

“I am excited about the progress Jeff has made and continues to make with our football team,” Costello said. “He and his staff are building this program the right way, attracting high-quality student-athletes that are performing in the classroom and on the field. The foundation is set for the future of Bobcat Football.”

Choate, whose initial three-year contract began upon accepting the Bobcat job in December, 2015, enters his third season in 2018 and his new deal extends him through the 2021 campaign. The Cats posted a 4-7 campaign in 2016 before improving by a game against one of the most difficult FCS schedules last fall. The Bobcats have ranked among the nation’s top rushing teams while improving defensively each season.

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“I appreciate the commitment Montana State University has made to this football program,” Choate said, “and I’m excited about the future. We’ve built a solid foundation, we have an excellent group of assistant coaches, and the support of President (Waded) Cruzado and Leon (Costello) is greatly appreciated. I look forward to the opportunity of continuing to lead this program to new heights.”

Choate and the Bobcat coaching staff open spring practice on March 3.

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