(Editor's note: Montana Tech media release)
BUTTE – Montana Tech director of athletics Matt Stepan announced the upcoming addition of track and field to the Orediggers' list of varsity sports. The men’s and women’s teams will begin recruiting immediately and are scheduled to compete in the Frontier Conference and the NAIA indoor and outdoor seasons in the spring of 2022.
“We are excited to announce this addition coming off the heels of a very successful first cross country season,” said Stepan. “Coach (Zach) Kughn has established a great culture inside of our running program and we believe it is time to take the next step and continue to expand the opportunities for student-athletes at Montana Technological University.”
“This is an exciting time for our program and institution,” said Montana Tech head coach Zach Kughn. “I’m extremely grateful for the support of our administration amongst these difficult times for continuing to invest in our program and our student-athletes. I’m honored to have the privilege of building this program.”
Montana Tech Athletics’ addition of men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field programs will increase the number of varsity sports currently offered from eight to 12 next year. Since Stepan was named director of athletics in the fall of 2017, Montana Tech has doubled the number of sports the Orediggers are competing in with the goal of offering more opportunities for students to compete at the collegiate level and graduate from Montana Technological University.
“We ask our cross country athletes and recruits to live the running lifestyle and adding indoor and outdoor track and field gives them the opportunity to compete nearly year round as a reward for their dedication and discipline,” added Kughn. “It also provides the opportunity for extensive recruiting across all event groups and we will begin doing this immediately. I can’t wait to see where our program will go in the very near future.”
Digger Athletics is currently working with the Butte Public School District on the use of the Charlie Merrifield Track.
“Butte is a great track and field community with a storied history of success,” added Stepan. “We’re looking forward to building on to that legacy while providing a great opportunity for many of our local athletes to compete at the collegiate level right here in their hometown. We are grateful to the Butte School District for their support and their willingness to partner with the Diggers."