By Mick Holien

In pulling the switch and naming Bobby Hauck as the head football coach Friday morning, the University of Montana took a giant step in restoring the program’s competitive nature but it by no means will come easily.

I won’t go so far as to call the state of gridiron fortunes bleak but couldn’t be more pleased that things have been set in motion and the start of the laying of building blocks has already taken place with the hiring of staff that understands the culture here.

I say that without even knowing how the staff is comprised of but confident that the wealth of contacts Bobby has made and the loyalty those coaches have to him will contribute to restoring respectability.

To the naysayers who tried to influence the process, I hope you will come to grips with the hiring as many of us did three years ago and continue to be Griz Nation Strong.

This will not be an easy proposition and instant success, although it will be demanded, may not be immediately forthcoming.

The Big Sky Conference is the premier FCS alignment and the parity has drastically improved to the point that especially road games that might have been in the past penciled seldom exist.

I am hopeful the majority of the early commits continues to align themselves and are equally excited to be a part of such tradition and with an early signing period almost upon us there’s little time to waste but I am confident Justin Green has used that H back mentality he possessed as a player to keep things intact.

I am sure Athletic Director Kent Haslam crossed all the I’s and crossed all the t’s and the hiring was by no means a no-brainer for an institution that has taken its hits, but while there is much to accomplish, it is poised to rebound.

The football hire is always the Athletic Department’s most critical especially given the high profile and mostly unrealistic expectations in our burg.

Robin Selvig said it to me so many years ago: So do you think those other teams are working their butt off to win too?

My best to Coach Stitt, wife Joan and his family and the staff that is left looking for a job in the Christmas season. It’s a difficult business but they’re all quality people and if the past is any indication will land on their feet.

So get after it Coach. After all what have you done for us lately lol.

Just sayin’