Montana promotes Pflugrad to head coach

Jan 1, 2010 - 2:15 AM MISSOULA, Mont.(AP) -- Montana promoted wide receivers coach Robin Pflugrad to head coach Thursday, eight days after Bobby Hauck left for UNLV.

The 52-year-old Pflugrad (flew-GRAD) was an assistant coach for the Grizzlies from 1986 to 1994, then returned in July after three seasons as wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Oregon. The former Portland State receiver coached and recruited for 13 seasons at Pac-10 schools Oregon, Washington State and Arizona State.

"I am looking forward to the challenges of the job and am excited to get on the recruiting trail," Pflugrad said. "We had a tremendous senior class at Montana in 2009, which needs to be replaced, and that will be a daunting challenge."

Hauck was 80-17 in seven seasons at Montana. He led the Grizzlies to seven Big Sky titles and to the Football Championship Subdivision title games in 2004, 2008 and 2009. Montana was 14-1 this season, falling 23-21 to Villanova in the championship game.

"Robin is the right person for the job," athletic director Jim O'Day said. "This has been an opportunity he's been looking forward to for many years. There's no doubt in my mind he will continue to build on the success of the program."

In his first stint at Montana under Don Read, Pflugrad worked with the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, and was promoted to assistant head coach in 1991. He worked with quarterback Dave Dickenson, the 1995 Walter Payton Award winner who led the Grizzlies to the national title that season.

"I want to thank Don Read for giving me an opportunity to get into the coaching profession, as well as for bringing me to Montana with him in 1986 when he started there," Pflugrad said. "I also want to thank Bobby Hauck for giving me a chance to come back to Montana and once again become part of the Grizzly football family."

Pflugrad was selected over former Montana quarterback Brent Pease, now Boise State's receivers coach, and Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren. Both Pease and Doeren were assistant coaches at Montana. Carroll College coach Mike Van Diest and Utah offensive coordinator Dave Schramm also interviewed for the job.

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