(Editor's note: University of Montana media release)
MISSOULA -- The University of Montana and Bobby Hauck, the school's winningest football coach of all time, have agreed to a new four-year contract, extending him through January 2024, the school announced Friday.
"I'm appreciative of Kent Haslam, Seth Bodnar, and the Board of Regents, and am happy to continue representing the Montana Grizzlies and the state of Montana," said Hauck. "My family and I are committed to the future of Grizzly football. We have unfinished business here, and we need everyone to join us as we continue to work to bring championships back to Missoula."
"I am excited to have Coach Hauck under contract for four more years leading the football program. He is the right person for the job, and I appreciate his commitment and loyalty to the University of Montana. He is building a program for lasting success both in the classroom and on the football field," said Montana director of athletics Kent Haslam.
In the past, UM has only been able to offer three-year contracts maximum to its coaches. But Haslam explained that recently there has been a change in that regard.
"The Commissioner of Higher Education recently allowed the two universities (Montana and Montana State) to offer longer terms as a negotiating tool," Haslam told MTN Sports. "This doesn’t mean all contracts moving forward will be longer, it simply gives some flexibility. Buyout remains the same. Whatever is left on the base for the remaining term of the contract is what is required for a coach to buy out of the contract and take another job."
In just the second year in his bid to return to the Grizzlies to dominance, Hauck led his alma mater back to the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2015, with Montana advancing to the quarterfinal round for the first time in nearly a decade and winning 10 games for the first time since 2013.
After returning to UM for his second term as head coach in December of 2017, Hauck has compiled a 16-9 record, adding to his 80-17 record compiled between 2003 and 2009. He became Montana's winningest coach of all-time in 2018, surpassing the legendary Don Read's career mark of 85 wins.
He is also the winningest coach in Big Sky Conference history by winning percentage and is the fastest coach in league history to reach the 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90-win plateaus.
Under Hauck, the Grizzlies have also excelled in the classroom.
In the nine years he has served as head coach (2003-09, 2018-19), Montana has placed 150 football players on Academic All-Big Sky teams, the most, or second-most in the league each year. Football student-athletes also graduated at a higher rate than their campus counterparts in each of those seasons, including a remarkable 90 percent rate in 2005.
Since returning in 2018, Hauck's Grizzlies have posted the best team GPAs in program history, including four-straight semesters with an average GPA of 3.0 or better.
Hauck has led the Griz to the FCS playoffs eight times, and UM has advanced to the FCS championship game three times with Hauck as head coach.