BILLINGS — Rocky Mountain College on Thursday announced the hiring of hall of fame coach Steve Keller as assistant men's basketball coach.
Keller will join head coach Bill Dreikosen's staff at Rocky for the 2023-24 season. The Battlin' Bears made the announcement in a press release.
"I am excited to have Steve Keller joining our men's basketball staff here at Rocky.” Dreikosen, who coached Rocky to an NAIA national title in 2009, stated in the release. “His coaching experience, strong recruiting ties, along with his proven success record are going to be a great asset to our program.
"Steve and I had our first interactions in the 1980s up on the Hi-Line when I was drawn to the success of his teams at Opheim High School, and we have also had some great battles in the Frontier Conference. I believe the timing for both of us working together is going to produce another successful era of winning basketball here at Rocky Mountain College."
Keller, a 1978 Rocky graduate and a 2017 inductee into the school's athletic hall of fame, was most recently the head men's coach at Providence in the Frontier Conference. He announced in February that he would retire following the 2022-23 season. He posted a 925-361 record combined between high school and college coaching stints.
Keller guided Opheim to three consecutive Class C girls state titles from 1982-84. He became the head girls coach at Helena in 1985 and led the Bengals to Class AA state championships in 1990, 1991 and 1997. His cumulative high school coaching record was 610-180. He was inducted into the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005.
Keller joined the Frontier Conference in 2004, first as an assistant men's coach at Carroll College. In 2007 he became the head men's coach at Montana Western and guided the Bulldogs to three regular-season league titles and eight NAIA national tournaments.
Keller took over at Providence in 2018. In his second season, UP went 24-8 and earned a berth in the NAIA tournament, and its No. 8 ranking was the highest in school history. In 2021, he coached Providence to its first outright league title since 1983 and its first Frontier tournament crown.
“After sitting in retirement for the last three months, I discovered how much I missed coaching basketball.” Keller stated in Rocky's press release. “Coach Dreikosen reached out to gauge my interest in being his assistant. I had a great experience as an assistant to coach (Gary) Turcott for three years at Carroll, and after talking to my wife, we decided to give it a shot.
"Coach Dreikosen is well respected in our league and has a national championship under his belt. I look forward to working with him and our current roster at Rocky.”
Keller's son Wes is the head women's basketball coach at Rocky.
Steve Keller graduated from Custer High School in 1974. He scored 2,206 career points with the Class C Cougars, and is among the top scorers in Montana high school history.