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After growing up in Griz program, Robby Hauck nearing career milestone in decorated run at Montana

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Posted at 6:48 PM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-23 12:09:14-04

MISSOULA — The Hauck family name is synonymous with Montana Grizzlies football, from Tim Hauck as a player, to Bobby Hauck's time as the head coach.

But since 2018, another Hauck has been making his own way in a Griz jersey: safety, Robby Hauck.

And the youngest Hauck is currently nearing his opportunity to etch his name into UM lore. Hauck is just three tackles away from breaking the school's all-time tackles record. He has 395 tackles to his name, just behind Dante Olson's career record of 397.

It's the culmination of Hauck getting thrown into the fire right away in 2018, and growing from there, to where he is today.

"I was fortunate enough to be out there as a young player in my career," Hauck said about his body of work on the field. "Just being able to be named a captain as a junior, I thought that was by far my biggest achievement that I've had in football, to be recognized by my teammates and then again this year. Putting the Montana Grizzlies jersey on on Saturday is the best and it's been a dream come true."

But of course, Robby Hauck essentially grew up in the Griz program.

When his father was in his first stint as the Griz head coach, Robby was just a kid soaking up every moment around the program.

"God, I feel bad for anybody that had to put up with me, I think I was a little bit crazy but I used to love and go sit down at the bottom of the stairs on the railing on the Griz sideline and just yell at players and be obnoxious," Hauck recalled. "I remember the redshirts for the Griz would come ref our games and I always thought that was cool because they knew my name and I was just the biggest fanboy of them all.

"I remember the players used to love throwing tape balls at me in the locker room and Twinkies and all of that kind of stuff, so all of the postgame stuff and hanging out with those guys, I thought it was the best."

Eventually, Robby grew up and wanted to pursue college football as well,

Because the elder Hauck was often busy coaching at the college level, he never coached Robby growing up aside from film studies as Robby got later in his high school years.

In fact, Bobby Hauck wasn't often able to make games because of his responsibilities as a college coach. But Bobby is a guy who was also coached by his father growing up, and it's been a positive experience for both of them.

"It's been fun and truly enjoyable," Bobby said. "I didn't know that would be the case out the gate but it's been really fun. When I look at it, if you're a college coach and your son is playing, if he's not on your team, you don't get to watch him play, maybe ever, so that's been great."

But after Robby spent a redshirt year at Northern Arizona, he joined up with his dad for the first time as player and coach when Bobby was hired back at UM in his second stint.

"He called and said he wanted to come, so we talked through some of the pros and cons of it and he still wanted to come, and I thought he could help us so I'm glad he came," Bobby said. "It's worked out pretty well."

Worked out it has, and the two said even though it was uncharted waters, it wasn't a difficult transition to make.

"The best thing is all we do is talk football. Football or fishing and I'm sure everybody's heard that 1,000 times from us," Robby said. "When I told him I wanted to come play for him at Montana, it was like alright look, it might not be the smoothest ride for you, and we're going to have to decide when I'm dad and when I'm coach, but it really just sorted itself out and it's been good."

"But he always jokes, coach shows up in August and dad comes back about Christmas time," Bobby added with a smile.

Robby credited his teammates as a big part of that smoothness as well, saying they treat him as a typical player and teammate, rather than the coach's son.

While his focus is on his final year, Robby said coaching is something he'd also like to pursue someday down the line. But through it all, Robby said he's enjoyed the experience and wants his legacy to be one of hard work.

"Just giving it all," Hauck said. "I want to walk away from this program and know that I gave every ounce that I could to this program to better it and be the best teammate that I could be, and I want to leave here and know that I gave everything I had and had a positive impact on the program, and just feel a great honor to be a part of this place."

And for Robby, it's given him a chance to connect even more with his dad.

"I think just being able to spend a lot of time with him over the last 5 1/2 years has been great," Robby said. "I've told some people that's probably the most time I'll ever spend with my dad in my entire life which is something I'll cherish forever and it's been great."