(Editor's note: Montana Tech media release)
BUTTE – Montana Tech head football coach Kyle Samson announced his coaching staff Tuesday.
“I’m very excited to announce our new staff here at Montana Tech,” said Samson. “I have been very fortunate to put together a tremendous group of coaches, but more importantly, great people.”
Doug Schleeman continues his role as assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach. Next season marks his 22nd season as an Oredigger. Nick Brautigam will be calling the plays as defense coordinator and coaching linebackers. Samson will continue to coach quarterbacks and call the offense.
“These men bring a great deal of experience and knowledge to our football team," Samson said. "They all have come from successful programs at the college and high school level and will continue to bring that success to Montana Tech.”
The new coaches joining Samson are Khalin Anderson, Travis Dean, Ryne Nelson, Dan Thatcher and Cy Steele.
“This group represents our program on the field and in the community of Butte," Samson said. "The word that best describes this group is ‘Family’. They truly believe in family and the things we need to do in order to take the next steps as a program.”
Khalin Anderson – Defensive backs
Anderson, who will coach the defensive backs, has spent the past six seasons coaching football for Sentinel High School in Missoula. From 2014-19 he was the defensive backs coach and spent the past two seasons as defensive coordinator. The Spartans reached the Class AA playoffs multiple times and made it the state semifinals twice. He also spent the past six seasons as the horizontal jumps coach for Spartans' track and field team. Sentinel won two girls state titles and one boys state championship, along with multiple individual state champions, during Anderson’s time.
Anderson spent the 2009-13 football seasons at his alma mater Montana State-Northern coaching defensive backs and assisting with the strength program. Before he became a coach, Anderson played cornerback for the Lights from 2005-09. He received three all-conference awards and one All-American honor. Anderson played and coached alongside Samson at MSU-Northern.
Anderson and his wife, Anni, join the Oredigger family with their 1-year-old daughter, Everly.
Travis Dean – Offensive coordinator/running backs
Dean will be the offensive coordinator as well as the running backs coach. Dean played quarterback for Samson when he was the offensive coordinator at MSU-Northern. Dean was part of back-to-back state championships at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz., and was the quarterback for MSU-Northern’s explosive offense that ranked in the top of the NAIA in total yards and completion percentage.
Dean started his coaching career as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Mark Samson at Havre High School in 2015 where he coached Gatorade player of the year Dane Warp. After Havre High, Dean was the quarterbacks and running backs coach at Flathead High School under Kyle Samson. The Braves boasted the top offense in the AA and made it to the state championship game in 2018. Dean coached current Oredigger running back Blake Counts when he set the Montana high school single-season rushing record as a senior.
Dean and his wife, Tricia, join the Oredigger family with their 2-year-old son, Bentley.
Ryne Nelson – Defensive line
Nelson, who will be coaching the defensive line, was the head coach and defensive coordinator for the Frenchtown Broncs from 2017-19. Nelson was born in Valier and graduated from Valier High School in 2005. Nelson went on to play linebacker at MSU-Northern for head coach Mark Samson. Nelson started his teaching and coaching career at Chester-Joplin-Inverness for six years before moving to Frenchtown in 2015.
Dan Thatcher – Offensive line
Thatcher returns to his hometown to coach the offensive line after spending eight years on the football staff at Bozeman High School. Thatcher was an all-conference selection on the offensive line for Butte Central High School as a junior and all-state as a senior. Thatcher was selected to play in both the Knights of Columbus Badlands Bowl and the Montana East-West Shrine Game.
Thatcher has spent the past four years as the offensive line coach for the Bozeman Hawks working under coach Levi Wesche. Over the past four seasons, the Bozeman High offense ranked in the top five in scoring and total offense three times and made the playoffs each year. The Hawks won the 2019 Montana State AA championship this past fall after averaging 235 rushing yards per game and 6.4 yards per carry.
Cy Steele – Strength and conditioning/assistant linebackers
Steele joins the staff full-time after serving as a student assistant since January of 2018. Steele will serve as the strength and conditioning coach and assist with linebackers. Steele played linebacker for the Orediggers in 2017 after transferring from the University of Montana. In high school, Steele was a first-team all-state linebacker for Missoula Sentinel.