Hauck Named the AFCA FCS Region 5 Coach of the Year


After winning his eighth Big Sky Conference championship and becoming the league’s all-time winningest coach in 2023, Montana’s Bobby Hauck has been voted by his peers as the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FCS Region 5 Coach of the Year, the organization announced Wednesday.

This is the third regional Coach of the Year honor for Hauck, with the previous two coming in 2006 and 2009. He is one of just 11 coaches in the 2023 class to earn regional honors multiple times in their careers.

It’s been a season of accolades for the Missoula native and UM alum, who enters this weekend’s contest with a 127-35 overall record at Montana. At the end of the regular season, coaches around the league unanimously voted him the Big Sky Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career. Stats Perform also named him a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award that goes to the media’s pick for FCS Coach of the Year.

In his 12th season at UM, Hauck’s Grizzlies are currently 11-1 and secured the program’s 19th conference title and a No. 2 seed in the FCS playoffs. Montana is set to take on Furman in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs Friday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

Notably, UM’s quarterfinal clash with Furman will also be a clash of all-region coaches with Paladin head man Clay Hendrix also earning the award for FCS Region 2.

The Griz were picked to finish sixth by the coaches and third by the media in the 2023 Big Sky preseason polls but went on to earn wins over five ranked opponents, including UM’s 74th win over rival Montana State to claim the conference championship.

The win over Montana State also gave Hauck his 74th career win in Big Sky Conference play, now sitting at 74-19. His 74 league wins ties him with former Portland State and Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh for the second-most in league history.

The AFCA will announce the 2023 National Coaches of the Year winners in FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA on Tuesday, January 9th. The Regional winners in each division are finalists for National Coach of the Year.

2023 AFCA Regional Coach of the Year Winners

Football Bowl Subdivision
Region 1: Mike Norvell, Florida State University
Region 2: Eliah Drinkwitz, University of Missouri
Region 3: David Braun, Northwestern University
Region 4: Jerry Kill, New Mexico State University
Region 5: Kalen DeBoer, University of Washington

Football Championship Subdivision
Region 1: Greg Gattuso, University at Albany
Region 2: Clay Hendrix, Furman University
Region 3: *Willie Simmons, Florida A&M University
Region 4: Todd Stepsis, Drake University
Region 5: Bobby Hauck, University of Montana

Division II
Region 1: Jim Clements, Kutztown University
Region 2: *Chennis Berry, Benedict College
Region 3: Josh Lamberson, University of Central Missouri
Region 4: Paul Simmons, Harding University
Region 5: Pete Sterbick, Colorado School of Mines

Division III
Region 1: Curt Fitzpatrick, SUNY Cortland
Region 2: Greg Chimera, Johns Hopkins University
Region 3: Jerheme Urban, Trinity (Tex.) University
Region 4: *Jason Couch, Alma College
Region 5: Chris Winter, Wartburg College

Region 1: Doug Socha, Keiser University
Region 2: Mike Feminis, Saint Xavier University
Region 3: Chuck Hepola, Evangel University
Region 4: *Matt McCarty, Northwestern College
Region 5: Drew Maddox, Louisiana Christian University
*-2022 winner