BILLINGS – Montana State’s second winningest basketball coach is among candidates interested in the vacant men’s position at Montana State University Billings, MTN Sports has confirmed from multiple sources.
Mick Durham, a former Bobcats player, spent 16 years as head coach in Bozeman, posting a 246-213 record before stepping down in March of 2006.
Durham is currently the head coach at Alaska Fairbanks, where he’s spent the past seven seasons. Two years ago, UA-Fairbanks won the conference tournament championship for the first time in program history. This year’s Nanooks finished 11-15.
Former Montana State player and Great Falls native Bobby Howard just finished his fourth season as Durham’s assistant coach.
A national search is under way at MSUB to replace Jamie Stevens, who stepped down earlier this month after seven seasons with the Yellowjackets.
MSU Billings athletic director Krista Montague said the school has received heavy interest in filling its men’s basketball head coaching job. She added that interviews won’t be set up until the application process closes on Friday.
Durham’s teams in Bozeman produced three 20-win campaigns and won two Big Sky Conference titles. MSU reached the NCAA Tournament in 1996 before falling to Syracuse in the opening round. Durham’s 2001-02 team played in the NIT.
The Three Forks native earned a trio of Big Sky Coach-of-the-Year awards, including after the 2004-05 season, in which the Bobcats were picked to finish last but tied for second.
“Signing Day is April 13, so, ideally, we’d like to have a coach in place by then,” Montague said. “But it depends on schedules, so there’s no guarantee.”
Montague, who said the school hasn’t determined a number of candidates to be interviewed on campus, has been out of town for the past week and a half traveling with MSUB’s basketball women who won the West Regional championship in California and reached the Elite 8 for just the second time in program history.
MSUB’s women lost Monday in their opening round of the Elite 8, but as a member of the National Committee of DII Women’s Basketball, Montague remains in Sioux Falls, S.D., until Sunday for commitments to the tournament.