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Steve Keller leaving Montana Western for University of Providence

Posted at 4:52 PM, Mar 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 16:01:21-04

Even in the offseason, Steve Keller is shaking up the Frontier Conference.

Keller, who has spent the past 11 seasons as the head coach of the Montana Western men’s basketball team, is taking over the program at the University of Providence, according to sources. The Argos are seeking a new coach after the program mutually agreed to part ways with Anthony Owens, who guided UP for four seasons.

UP vice president of athletics Dave Gantt and Western athletic director Bill Wilson declined to comment. Keller didn’t immediately return phone calls or text messages to MTN Sports.

Keller moves to Great Falls from Dillon, where he accumulated a 231-124 overall record coaching the Bulldogs. Western advanced to the NAIA national tournament each of the past four seasons and eight of the past nine. The Bulldogs’ 2017-18 season ended on March 17 with an 86-82 loss to Graceland (Iowa) in the NAIA quarterfinals. They were 27-8.

Western won at least 22 games in seven of Keller’s 11 seasons at the helm.

Prior to coaching in the college ranks, Keller was a dominant high school coach. He began his career at Opheim High School, leading the program to consecutive Class C girls state championships in 1982, 1983 and 1984.

He then took over the Helena High School girls program in 1985, where he led the Bengals to State AA titles in 1990, 1991 and 1997.

Keller served as an assistant coach under Gary Turcott at Carroll College for four seasons before taking the head job at Western in 2007.

As a player, Keller averaged 21.5 points per game during his career at Custer High School, scoring 2,206 career points. He played collegiate baseball from 1975-78 at Rocky Mountain College, where he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2017.

MTN Sports’ Richie Melby and Tom Wylie contributed to this report.