BUTTE -- Kyle Samson has been named the interim head football coach at Montana Tech, the university announced Monday.
Chuck Morrell stepped down as the head coach after nine seasons leading the Orediggers. He'll join the coaching staff at Fresno State.
“The culture and tradition of Oredigger football is strong,” Montana Tech director of athletics Matt Stepan said in a media release. “We are extremely grateful for Coach Morrell for his years of service and leadership to Montana Tech. We are excited for him and his family as they pursue the next chapter in the Morrell story.
“We are in great position as a program and department thanks to the efforts of Coach Morrell over the last nine years. Montana Tech continues to be a top tier academic and athletic opportunity for students. The future is very bright for our football program and thanks to Coach Morrell and his great staff, the cupboard is full for our next coach.”
Stepan added that Tech's "ensuing coaching search will be fast and efficient," but Samson will serve as the interim coach during the process. Samson was the Diggers' assistant head coach and offensive coordinator last season after a successful high school coaching career where he led Kalispell Flathead for five seasons.
The Braves had a prolific offense under Samson, reaching the Class AA state championship game in 2018.
Samson is no stranger to the Frontier Conference. He was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for seven seasons at Montana State University-Northern, working with the Lights from 2007-14. The Lights’ offense was ranked in the top 10 nationally from 2011-2013.
A former all-state quarterback at Helena Capital High School, Samson played for his father, Mark, at MSU-Northern, helping lead the Lights to the NAIA playoffs. Kyle Samson was a three-time all-conference selection at MSUN and the 2006 Frontier Conference offensive player of the year. He finished his career with 5,303 passing yards and 1,591 rushing yards, scoring 45 total touchdowns.
"Coach Samson is a great coach and a great leader and I want to thank him for embracing this opportunity," Stepan said. "I have full confidence that he is the right person to lead us through this challenge. I look forward to working side-by-side with Coach Samson and the current staff through this process.”
Morrell finished his Tech tenure with an overall record of 52-44 in nine seasons, winning three conference titles, including back-to-back championships in 2015 and 2016. Morrell was named the Frontier Conference coach of the year three times as well as the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Regional Coach of the Year (2012, 2015-16).