MISSOULA — Former Montana football coach Bobby Hauck interviewed with Montana's athletic director Kent Haslam for the vacant coaching position on Monday.

Haslam said in a phone call with 406mtsports.com on Monday evening that Monday's interview went "fine," and declined commenting on specific candidates.

Haslam said the job has garnered substantial interest, though. 

"Whenever there's an open head coaching position, especially one that's high profile at a great place like the University of Montana, there's a lot of interest in it," Haslam said. "The challenge becomes sifting through all of that interest and trying to find the right person and trying to deal with the things that are unknown. 

"I just try and process those and rely on the people I trust and will give good, sound advice and that's really where we're at right now in the process."

Haslam also declined to give a specific update as to where Montana is in the search process. 

"We're still in that search process and so we're going to continue to search and to talk and to continue with different folks. The search is progressing and I want to make sure we're being thorough."

Haslam added: "The interview process is ongoing. ... I want to move along as quickly as possible. We do have that early signing day that's out there in December."

The position became open last week after Haslam announced Bob Stitt’s contract, which expires in January, would not be renewed.

Montana hired Bob Stitt as its 36th coach upon Mick Delaney’s retirement. Stitt coached the Grizzlies from 2014-17. 

Hauck, according to sources familiar with the situation, is the leading candidate for the position. He is currently the special teams coordinator and an associate head coach for San Diego State. He’s been with the Aztecs since 2015.

Hauck, 53, coached Montana from 2003-09 and led the Grizzlies to three FCS title games as well as seven straight Big Sky Conference titles. His Grizzly teams went 80-17 in seven seasons — the highest winning percentage of all FCS teams during that span. He won the Big Sky's Coach of the Year honor in 2006, 2007 and 2009.

After leaving Montana, Hauck was the head coach at UNLV from 2010-14. In 2013, he led the Rebels to their first winning season since 2000 and to their fourth-ever bowl game. He finished his five-year stint there with a 15-49 record before resigning.

He has openly said that he is interested in coming back to his alma mater to coach again and interviewed for the job after Delaney retired in 2014.

Hauck is a native of Missoula and went to high school in Big Timber.

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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