MISSOULA — Another former Montana football player will being coaching at his alma mater.

Barry Sacks, a Griz linebacker from 1976-79, will be taking the reins as Montana's defensive line coach, the university announced Friday. Football Scoop first reported the news Jan. 3. 

"Barry is a Montana alum who provides a wealth of experience from around the western United States," Montana coach Bobby Hauck said in a news release. "He has a great passion for coaching defensive football and for the University of Montana. He is a high energy, high effort college football coach, which is exactly what we are looking for on our defensive line."

Sacks and Hauck have never been on the same staff, but they've coached against each other.

From 2010-12, while Hauck coached UNLV, Sacks coached the defensive line at Nevada. Sacks' Wolf Pack won the "Battle for Nevada" in all three meetings. 

"Coach Hauck and I have had a great relationship over the years," Sacks said. "I've always admired the kind of football coach he is, his coaching style, and the type of person he is. I've followed his career and saw how successful he was here at Montana, and, as an alum, I was very proud of that success from a distance.

"It's a dream come true to be back here. If I die out on that field, my life will be complete."

Sacks got his start in coaching in 1987 at Portland State. He guided the Vikings' defensive line until 1992. His next stop was Boise State from 1993-96, where he coached the defensive line and was the recruiting coordinator. 

Sacks spent the 1997 season at Adams State as the co-offensive coordinator and the wide receivers coach. He took the defensive coordinator job at San Jose State in 1998 and was with the Spartans in that role until 2000. 

Sacks jumped from the college ranks over to the AFL for the 2001 season to be the defensive coordinator for the now-defunct San Jose Sabercats. 

He coached various positions at Nevada from 2002-12, including tight ends, defensive ends and defensive lines. He spent one year at California in 2013 as the defensive line coach and went to New Mexico in 2014-15 in the same role.

Sacks went back to San Jose State for the 2016 season as the defensive line coach before heading to Division II's Humboldt State for the 2017 season for the same position.

Sacks is the sixth Montana alumnus to join the Griz staff. He graduated from UM with bachelor's degrees in health education and physical education in 1980. 

The others are Chad Germer (offensive line), Justin Green (running backs/recruiting coordinator), Hauck, Lennard Manke (director of football video) and Shann Schillinger (safeties).

Germer graduated from UM in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. Green graduated in 2013 with a sociology degree. Hauck graduated in 1987 with bachelor's degrees in business and physical education. Manke graduated in 2016 with his communications degree. Schillinger graduated with his business administration degree in 2010. 

Amie Just covers Griz football for the Missoulian, among other things. Follow her on Twitter @Amie_Just or email her at Amie.Just@406mtsports.com.

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