George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
After just a two-year reign at Montana State University-Northern, athletic director Dave Gantt is leaving the school and the athletic department he helped build up. The AD position was Gantt’s second stint at MSU-N. Gantt was the Northern volleyball coach in 1988-89 and was named Frontier Conference Coach of the Year for the 1988 season. During that time, Gantt was also a Physical Education Instructor. Gantt left MSU-N to become the assistant volleyball coach for the USA Men’s National Team. He also had stints as the head coach at Oregon State University from 1991-1993 and at Montana State University from 1994-2002. Gantt returned to MSU-N two years ago to become athletic director after Byron Ophus resigned his post. And MSU-N athletic programs thrived during that time. The MSU-N football team has had the most successful two-year run in history, going 14-7, finishing second and third in the Frontier Conference during that stretch. The Lights also made the NAIA playoffs for the first time in school history. Both the men’s and women’s basketball programs also enjoyed success over the past two years, highlighted by the Skylights reaching the NAIA national tournament a year ago. Gantt also oversaw the hiring of new head volleyball coach Greg Ryan, as well as being a part of many other athletic department changes and improvements, and broad-sweeping changes on the MSU-N campus, both inside and outside the athletic department. “My hope is that those efforts will continue to have a positive impact on every program,” Gantt said in a released statement. “Athletics is a dynamic process, and if you aren’t moving forward at the correct pace, then you’re falling farther behind.” Now, Northern, which will eventually have its third AD of the decade, will have to move forward without Gantt, who plans to return to the Bozeman area to pursue private real estate and business ventures. “I will always owe a debt of gratitude to MSU-Northern as they afforded me my first opportunity to be a collegiate head coach as well as my first opportunity to be an Athletic Director,” he said. “I have developed many friendships during my time on the Hi- Line and I will continue to treasure those relationships.” Gantt’s resignation from MSU-N is effective on Saturday, and at press time, MSU-N officials haven’t announced any formal plans to find his replacement.