Like many of us, I am a proud Montanan and an even prouder former Grizzly football player. My coach for four years was Bobby Hauck.
I understand people can view Bobby as brash, abrasive, and he might turn some individuals off; however, I can assure you Coach Hauck was not only a good coach but also a terrific mentor, motivator and example for myself and all of my teammates. More importantly, he was a strict disciplinarian every single day during my playing days. The fact is most people did not see how he held student athletes accountable.
I was excited to learn that Hauck is once again interested in returning to Montana and taking over the Grizzly football program. Under Coach Hauck we had great success both academically and athletically. My teammates and I performed very well in the classroom, where we achieved an overall team GPA during our careers above 3.0. More importantly, the great majority of us graduated and began our careers outside of sports.
Hauck fully understands the job he is tasked to accomplish at the University of Montana and what it means to be a Montana Grizzly. He is also responsible for ensuring academic success by his players, good community service and strict adherence to the rules. Occasionally, college students waiver from strictly following the rules. My teammates, at times, succumbed to this human frailty. However, to paint us all with the same brush and to publish the recent (Nov. 27) Missoulian article on Coach Hauck is unfair.
The article outlined some of the incidents claimed to have occurred under Bobby Hauck’s tenure. Let’s review:
1. Jimmy Wilson: I was a senior when he returned to UM, Bobby Hauck had been gone for nine months. As noted, Wilson was acquitted and went on to play in the National Football League.
2. Beau Donaldson, Trumaine Johnson and Gerald Kemp: Bobby Hauck had been gone from UM nearly 18 months
3. Pat Williams' remarks in his call to the New York Times: Bobby Hauck had been gone from UM for nearly three years.
I understand these men were Bobby Hauck recruits, however, he had moved on. Hauck only has the capability to implement the system and structure to the best of his ability by putting individuals in the best possible position to succeed in the game and in life. At the end of the day it is up to each and every individual to decide their path and decisions made along that path.
Hauck is the right person at the right time to guide Griz football. For me as a former student athlete and Griz football player, I would do it all over again under Hauck and his staff. He was instrumental in molding me into the man/professional I am today, teaching me how to compete, persevere and at the end of the day — win. He provided me the tools I needed to be successful in life after football, everlasting memories with lifelong friends I made while at the university and a drive to achieve more than I thought possible while working towards an end goal greater than yourself as an individual.
I don’t intend this message to dwell on the Missoulian article. My purpose is to express a completely different side of Bobby Hauck that most people may not have seen or known. We are fortunate that Bobby Hauck wants to return home to coach the Grizzlies with the exciting yet daunting task of rebuilding the University of Montana to the success we enjoyed when I was a student/athlete.