CollegeMontana Grizzlies


Roger Cooper, Tim Hauck named co-defensive coordinators for Montana Grizzlies

Roger Cooper.jpeg
Posted at 4:37 PM, Mar 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-05 18:37:16-05

(Editor's note: University of Montana news release)

MISSOULA — A year after Montana posted one of the best defensive seasons in program history, head coach Bobby Hauck didn’t have to go far to find a new coordinator.

In fact, he didn’t just have one man on staff who he trusted to lead the defense, he had two.

On Tuesday, Hauck announced that linebacker coach Roger Cooper and defensive analyst Tim Hauck have been promoted to serve as co-defensive coordinators. Cooper will also continue to coach the Grizzly linebackers and Hauck will now coach the safeties.

The pair take over coordinator duties from Ronnie Bradford, who was the Grizzly DC and safeties coach in 2023 with three years overall on the UM staff, and recently moved back to the NFL and a position with the Miami Dolphins.

“In elevating Coach Cooper and Coach Hauck to co-coordinator positions, we have two guys with strong skillsets that complement each other. Roger will also head up the linebackers and Tim will coach the safeties, so we’ll have some continuity in the defense and in the position groups as well, which I think will be good,” said Bobby Hauck.

“I’m excited about these guys working together to evolve our defense. Along with Mike (Linehan) and Kim (McCloud) these guys will have a real cohesive staff that will continue our strong play on the defensive side of the ball.”

Cooper and Hauck now take over a 2023 defense that was one of the most historic in program history and helped lead the Griz to the FCS National Championship.

Montana allowed just 108.5 yards per game rushing that season – the third fewest in the FCS and a Big Sky-low. Those 108.5 yards were the second fewest of the last decade allowed by the Griz as well.

Montana also picked off 17 passes last season – the fourth most in the FCS and the second most at UM in the last decade – and finished the year with a Big Sky-best total in turnover margin (+9) and turnovers gained (24).

All told the 2023 Griz gave up the third fewest total yards per game in program just over 314 yards, the third fewest in program history, and 17.2 points per game – the fewest in the Big Sky and fifth fewest in the FCS.

2024 will be Cooper’s third season overall at Montana. Prior to serving as co-DC, he worked exclusively with Montana’s linebackers in 2023, and safeties in 2022.

In March of 2022 he returned to the state of Montana after spending 10 years at Idaho State, where he most recently served as the associate head coach, defensive coordinator, and linebacker coach under Rob Phenicie.

“I’m blessed and excited to be back working with this defense and the linebackers again and I want to thank Coach Hauck for the opportunity,” said Cooper.

“Coach Bradford and Coach Baer before him have been great mentors, and hopefully we can continue to produce strong defenses and student-athletes.”

Hauck returns in 2024 for his ninth season overall coaching at his alma mater after serving as the Defensive Analyst during last season’s championship run.

Prior to returning to Missoula, he most recently spent five seasons in the NFL with Philadelphia, where he helped lead the Eagles to a 41-33 win over New England in Super Bowl LII.

He previously coached at Montana from 2004 to 2007 under his older brother Bobby and helped lead the Griz to four-straight conference titles, a trip to the 2004 national title game, and two trips to the FCS semifinal.

The two also coached together in 2013 and 2014 at UNLV where he helped lead the Rebels to the 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl as the Defensive Coordinator and Cornerbacks Coach. Hauck’s resume also includes coaching stints at UCLA, the Tennessee Titans, and Cleveland Browns.

As a player, Hauck was a three-year letterman for the Grizzlies from 1987 to 1989, when he became a two-time All-American and two-time Big Sky Defensive MVP at safety.

He then went on to a successful 13-year NFL career from 1990 to 2002 after signing as a free agent with the New England Patriots. His playing career also included stops at Green Bay, Denver, Seattle, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

“I’m excited to be back coaching for another year at the University of Montana,” said Hauck.

“I’m blessed to be able to work with this group of players and coaches again. Hopefully continuity on the coaching staff will help us continue to have success.”