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UM faculty wants university to reconsider head coach hire

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MISSOULA, Mont. - Over two dozen University of Montana faculty are asking the university to reconsider hiring football head coach Bobby Hauck.

The university announced last Friday that Hauck would replace former coach Bob Stitt. Hauck headed up the Grizzly team from 2003-2009.

The faculty letter opposed to his hiring is dated Dec. 1 and is directed to incoming President Seth Bodnar and Athletic Director Kent Haslam.

Click here to view the letter.

In it, the faculty members say Hauck's actions as a former coach contributed to the federal and NCAA investigations into the way the university handled sex assault complaints.

The following is a response to Dr. Elizabeth Hubble from UM Director of Athletics, Kent Haslam:

Dr. Hubble,

I appreciate you sending me this letter of concern. I want to acknowledge I received and read the letter.

I knew the hiring of Bobby Hauck as the football coach at the University of Montana would bring joy and would bring consternation. I learned quickly there was no middle ground when it came to Coach Hauck. I want to assure you this decision was not made in haste. It was done with much research, lengthy conversation, and consultation with many. It was not as simple as throwing open the door and welcoming him back, with no questions asked.

I am absolutely committed to operating an athletic department that is focused on success in the classroom, community and competition. I know Coach Hauck joins me in that commitment. I hope you had an opportunity to watch the press conference from last Friday where we introduced Bobby Hauck as the new football coach. Both he and I addressed in very candid terms the treatment of Lisa Davey and the need for respect. Coach Hauck acknowledged mishandling the relationship with the student newspaper. He recognized he did bring some to campus that were not worthy of wearing the Grizzly uniform and his commitment to getting better. He acknowledged that he did recruit one student-athlete from here in Missoula that was eventually convicted of sexual assault.

We are a much different place than when Coach Hauck was hired 15 years ago, and when he left eight years ago. I will never excuse poor choices and poor behavior, and never want to defend such actions. We have very high expectations and I am proud of those high expectations. However, sexual assault is an issue that is much larger than one coach or one subset of society or campus. We all want to work together to create a culture of respect, make our campus and community safe, and hold those accountable who bring harm to others.

In short, I would welcome the opportunity to visit with you in person if you would like to discuss further the hiring of Bobby Hauck, the student-athlete code of conduct, or any other topic surrounding this issue. I am proud to be associated with the University of Montana and our wonderful student-athletes, coaches, and staff. Thank you again for reaching out.

Sincerely,

Kent Haslam Director of Athletics University of Montana

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