BOZEMAN — Montana State officially introduced new head football coach Brent Vigen on Tuesday afternoon, and, most importantly, his first goal is to beat rival Montana.
“Our first goal is to beat the Griz," he said. "That didn’t make Twitter or whatever last week, but that’s the first goal."
Beating the Griz might be fun, but Vigen's sights are set on bringing an FCS national championship to Bozeman.
“We have to have a clear vision that going after a national championship is what we’re all about," Vigen said."If your goal ends with winning a conference championship, making the playoffs -- that’s not enough. If you can’t see it, you certainly can’t go after it.”
Vigen was first interested in the Bobcats' head coaching position when it was rumored that Jeff Choate could go to Boise State.
“When I looked at this opportunity and began to, at the beginning of January when it looked like it may open, Molly (Vigen's wife) and I talked and said if Montana State opens, that would be the right place,” said the new Bobcats' head coach.
He knows that expectations are high after a successful 2019 season under Choate.
“This is not a starting from scratch proposition here. This is a, ‘Hey, let’s pick up where he left off,’” Vigen said.
Winning is great, but most of all Vigen wants his players to excel in the classroom.
“We’re going to have some guys that have opportunities to go on and play in the NFL, but more of them are really going to have to rely on that degree. That’s got to be priority one,” he said.
Lastly, he thanked some of his mentors, but he gave the biggest shoutout to Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl. The two had been together since 2003 and will play against each other on Sept. 4 when the Bobcats open up their 2021 season at Wyoming.
“I can’t thank him enough, and obviously the interesting twist of fate, my first game as a head coach will be walking across that sideline and shaking his hand," Vigen said.
Vigen said he aims to announce his new coaching hires later this week.