By ERIC TABER
Montana Head Coach Bobby Hauck has mostly stuck to a clear formula when hiring his coaching staff since taking the reins of the Grizzly football program in November: get coaches with experience at the highest levels of college football, and get coaches with Montana in their blood.
On Tuesday Hauck once again checked both of those boxes, officially welcoming back Griz legend Brent Pease to his staff to serve as the assistant head coach and receivers coach.
Pease, a prolific Grizzly quarterback and national championship winning assistant coach under Don Read, returns to Missoula after six years playing professionally and 27 years coaching some of the premier programs in the nation. With the addition of Pease, Hauck’s staff now carries with it a total of 185 combined years of coaching experience.
“To have Brent Pease as the Assistant Head Coach to help guide and lead the program is a great benefit to Montana football. With his experience and both he and Paula’s ties to the university, it is a big win for our school and our program to have him back,” said Hauck.
Over the last two decades, Pease has served as a position coach and offensive coordinator for notable programs such as Kentucky, Baylor, Boise State, Florida, Washington, and most recently, Texas El Paso.
“Brent has coached for a lot of years at a lot of great programs with a lot of great coaches. He has a strong background in offensive football, and his ability to help us put our offense into place as well as being able to coach any position on the field is going to enhance our ability to move the football and score points.”
As a senior on the 1986 Grizzlies, Pease led all of DI-AA football in total offense, averaging over 309 yards per game, and passing for 3,056 total yards and 30 touchdowns, a school record at the time.
After playing professionally for six seasons in the NFL and the World League, he returned to his alma mater to begin his coaching career in 1991 as an offensive assistant. He would remain on the Grizzly staff until 1998, serving as the OC his final three years.
With so much history at the University of Montana, Pease says the decision to return was an easy one when Hauck came calling in late 2017.
“It really didn’t take me long to answer him. I am very excited about coming back to the tradition and everything this place is about,” said Pease. “Whenever you get a chance to come back to a school you have a tremendous amount of passion for, I think the decision making process is easy.”
Not only is Pease coming back to a place he has a passion for, he’s reconnecting with an old classmate in Hauck, making the coaching reunion that much more meaningful.
“Coach Hauck and I have been friends ever since we went to school together here. I was very humbled an honored to be a part of what he’s putting together on his second time around,” Pease added.
“I’ve followed this place since the day I left. I know what this school has been built on, I know the DNA of it, and I want it to win. I’m just excited to be part of it.”
After graduating from Montana, Pease was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the eleventh round of the 1987 NFL Draft. He spent his first two seasons in the league with the Houston Oilers before moving to the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears for one season each. He finished his playing career in the World League and Arena League, suiting up for Birmingham, New York/New Jersey and Cincinnati.
Upon picking up a whistle at Montana, Pease served as an offensive assistant under Read through the 1995 season, when he was promoted to offensive coordinator. That season, Pease’s offense, led by quarterback Brian Ah Yat, set still-standing school records for most passing yards in a game (560) and most passing touchdowns in a season (42) en route to the 1996 national championship game.
After a two year stint as the OC at Northern Arizona under former Griz coach Jerome Souers, Pease went on to the SEC where he was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator of the Kentucky Wildcats under head coach Guy Morriss. After two years at Kentucky, Pease followed Morriss to Baylor for three seasons.
Pease then joined head coach Chris Petersen at Boise State in 2006 as a receivers coach, getting promoted to assistant head coach a year later. During his time at Boise State, Pease helped mentor Heisman Trophy finalist and record-breaking quarterback Kellen Moore, who became the first quarterback in FBS history to win 50 games in his career.
In his six seasons in Boise, Pease and the Broncos played in six-straight bowl games and helped lead the team to a No. 4 ranking.
Pease then took over as the OC for the Florida Gators in 2012 and 2013 before re-joining Petersen at the University of Washington as the receivers coach. After two seasons in Seattle, Pease then took over at the OC at UTEP in 2016 and 2017.
With experience guiding numerous future NFL players and some of the most productive offenses in college football, Pease says hopes to lead Montana’s receiving corps in the same direction.
“I want to make them understand what the standard of the position is and the standard of this place is all about. To make them understand what the expectations are, and there is a level to achieve,” said Pease.
“I’m here to make them a better football player so they can be the best version of themselves and be productive members of the community.”
Pease’s wife, the former Paula Good, is also a Montana alum and member of the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame. The former Grizzly Track and Field star was a member of the 1987 team that scored 173 points on the final day of Mountain West Conference Track Championships to win the team title. She won the 100 and 200 meter dashes, and was a member of the winning 400 and 1600 meter relay teams, earning her Mountain West MVP honors that year.
The Pease File
Hometown: Mountain Home, Idaho
Alma Mater: Montana (1986, B.S. Heath, Physical Education)
Family: Wife Paula Pease (neé Good), daughter Halle, son Karsten
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