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Holsinger expected to be hired as next Lady Griz head coach


Brian Holsinger has had a hand in one of the best runs in the history of Oregon State women’s basketball.

Now the OSU associate head coach will have a chance to lead a program on his own.

Monday afternoon, Skyline Sports confirmed through multiple sources that Holsinger will be named the new head women’s basketball coach at the University of Montana.

The former Montana Tech head coach (2005-2007) has spent the last five seasons on Scott Rueck’s staff in Corvallis, helping the Beavers to the first three Pac 12 regular-season championships in program history.

Holsinger takes over a Lady Griz program that has been reeling since Robin Selvig’s retirement following the 2015-2016 season ended. In four seasons under Shannon Schweyen, UM posted a 52-69 record that included a 1-7 record against rival Montana State and one win in the Big Sky Tournament.

Last season, the Lady Griz finished sixth in the regular-season standings before losing to No. 11 seed Sacramento State, marking the first time a bottom seed has won a game at the Big Sky Conference women’s basketball tournament.

Interim head coach Mike Petrino was one of four top candidates UM athletic director Kent Haslam and an eight-person search committee brought to campus last week. Oregon associate head coach Brian Campbell and North Texas head coach Jamie Carey joined Holsinger and Petrino as the candidates who received in-person interview, per a source.

Holsinger is a native of Federal Way, Washington in the Seattle area began his college career at Pacific after graduating high school in 1994. He spent his second two seasons at Western Washington in Bellingham, earning a bachelor’s of science in biology in 1999.

His coaching career began at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, California from 1999-2005, where he served as the head men’s basketball assistant coach for a team that made four NAIA national tournament appearances. During those seven seasons, Holsinger helped the team finished with a 132-58 record overall.

The first head coaching job of Holsinger’s career came as the head women’s basketball coach at Montana Tech beginning in 2005. During his tenure, he guided the Orediggers to the program’s first Top-25 ranking. Holsinger also engineered the biggest turnaround in Montana Tech history, taking the team from thee wins in 2005-06 to 16 wins in 2006-07.

In the spring of 2007, former Boise State and Washington head coach June Daugherty earned the head coaching job at Washington State. Shortly after, Holsinger joined her staff as an assistant. He would spend 2007-2015 at Wazzu.

When Washington State qualified for the WNIT in 2014, it marked the first post-season appearance for the program since 1991.

Daugherty coached at Boise State in the mid-1990s when the Broncos were in the Big Sky. Montana State 16th-year head coach Tricia Binford played for Daugherty at BSU. Daugherty also comes from Tara VanDerveer’s coaching tree; she served as an assistant for Vanderveer at Stanford from 1985-1989.

Former Montana head coach Mike Petrino works the bench during a timeout vs. Sacramento State/by Brooks Nuanez

Rueck took the Beavers to the Final Four the season before he hired Holsinger to join his staff. The following season, Holsinger’s first, Oregon State won the third Pac 12 championship in program history and third in a row. The Beavers advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row and the third time ever.

Over the last five seasons, OSU has qualified for every NCAA Tournament that’s been played. OSU advanced to three straight Sweet 16s by the completion of the 2019 season, including a run to the Elite Eight in 2018.

This past season, OSU struggled during the regular-season, finishing fifth in the Pac 12. But wins in the conference tournament over Cal (71-63) and No. 19 Oregon (71-64) helped the Beavers earn a conference tournament championship game bid against eventual national champion Stanford.

OSU beat Florida State 83-59 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before bowing out with a 59-42 loss to top-ranked and eventual Final Four qualifier South Carolina in the second round.

All three members of Rueck’s staff had confirmed interest in the UM opening. Jonas Chatterton and Katie (Baker) Faulkner both also had contact with the committee. Baker is a former Lady Griz who earned Big Sky Conference Player of the Year honors in 2013.

Skyline Sports has confirmed through a source that Chatterton is in the mix for the head coaching openings at Portland State and Sacramento State.

Holsinger’s hiring means that the Big Sky has three women’s basketball jobs open: PSU, Sac State and Eastern Washington.

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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