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Running back Lex Hilliard gets a hug from former Montana coach Bobby Hauck after a three-touchdown day in a 2007 win over Montana State in Bozeman. Hauck is in the running for Montana's vacant head football coach position. 

Michael Gallacher, Missoulian

MISSOULA — Former Montana football coach Bobby Hauck is the leading candidate for the vacant head coaching position, sources familiar with the situation tell 406mtsports.com, and is interviewing early this week for the job.

Hauck flew into Missoula from San Diego late Sunday evening, and was one of the first people off the plane. No one met him; rather, he picked up a rental car.

Hauck currently is 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 seven straight Big Sky Conference titles and to three FCS title games. His Grizzly teams went 80-17 in seven seasons — the highest winning percentage of all I-AA/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 Mick Delaney retired in 2014.

Montana hired Bob Stitt as its 36th coach upon Delaney’s retirement and coached the Grizzlies from 2014-17. Last week, Montana athletic director Kent Haslam announced that Stitt’s contract, which expires in January, would not be renewed.

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

406mtsports.com reporter Greg Rachac contributed to this report.

This story will be updated.

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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