MISSOULA — During his two stints as the University of Montana football coach, Bobby Hauck has become acquaintances with numerous coaches in both the Big Sky Conference and the FCS. When the University of Idaho re-joined the league for this season, it brought with it another familiar face.
Vandals head coach Paul Petrino, a former Helena Capital and Carroll College quarterback, grew up just more than two hours away from Big Timber, where Hauck was three years Petrino’s elder at Sweet Grass County High School.
The two will stand on opposite sidelines this weekend in Moscow, Idaho, when the Grizzlies travel to face the Vandals in the second-to-last game of the regular season. Idaho replaced Eastern Washington as one of Montana’s two guaranteed rivalry games each fall, setting up a renewed rivalry between the century-long foes.
“I’ve known him for a long time. All of us, you grew up in Montana, you know guys. Big Timber and Helena aren’t that far apart, but we all know each other,” said Hauck. “Our fathers were both coaches, our uncles (were coaches) and everything else. We all know each other well and certainly that adds something to it. I have a healthy dose of respect for all the Petrinos and their coaching ability, particularly Paul.”
Idaho leads the series 55-27-2, but Montana has won the past four matchups dating back to 2013, a 41-28 win in Missoula, and eight of the past 10. The Grizzlies currently hold the Little Brown Stein, the rivalry trophy given to the winner following each contest. It made its debut in 1938.
Saturday’s kickoff between Idaho and UM is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ROOT Sports.