MISSOULA – Montana brought Bobby Hauck back to the sidelines of Washington-Grizzly Stadium. In the process, they brought another Hauck back as well. Robby Hauck now plays for the team and for the coach that he always wanted.
“Once my dad actually did get the job here, it was kind of just something that crossed my mind right away,” said the younger Hauck. “It’s something I was ready to do. So it was a pretty easy decision.”
Robby Hauck spent one year as a redshirt at Northern Arizona, where he loved his time with the Lumberjacks. Now he’s grateful the NAU coaches, which have plenty of past ties to UM, agreed to make the transfer to a rival school so quick and smooth. The allure of coming back to Montana with his father Bobby was too much for the safety to pass up.
“It’s something that I thought I would end up doing,” he said. “And now I’ve got the opportunity. So it’s been awesome.”
Bobby is keeping the interaction professional this spring. He comes off only as a head coach, not a proud father. Bobby says he has not kept a close eye on Robby in practice, because he’s got an entire team to get ready and he can’t pick favorites.
Bobby also admits he didn’t always know if their father-son relationship would easily translate to coach-player.
“When he was growing up I don’t think it would have worked,” said Bobby. “It would not have been a match made in heaven, for sure, maybe the other side of that coin. That part of it has actually been a lot better than it would have been at a younger age.”
It could turn out Bobby could really use Robby this season. The Big Sky Conference has already granted clearance for the record-setting tackler in high school to play right away at Montana. Now they’re waiting to see if the NCAA will sign off. If they do, he steps right into a battle for playing time in a young and inexperienced secondary. If the NCAA doesn’t sign off, he will redshirt a second year and still have three years left in maroon and silver.
Either way, Robby can’t help but smile. After moving with his family to Las Vegas and San Diego, his new team feels like coming home.
“I think, just like anybody that grew up here in Montana or Missoula, coming to games on Saturday and all that, you look up to this team and everybody,” said Robby. “It was always a goal of mine. Just to be in this stadium, it’s a dream come true.”
Hauck and the Grizzlies held their 11th practice of the spring Wednesday afternoon. They will take the field for their first open scrimmage at 3:00 Friday in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.