Coaching in college basketball means a change of venue once in a while. And that possibility now includes Montana State University-Northern women’s basketball head coach Chris Mouat.
Earlier this week, Carroll College announced Mouat is a finalist for the vacant women’s head coaching position. Former head coach Shawn Nelson, who has had Carroll in or near the NAIA Top 25 consistently over the last few years left to take the head coaching job at NCAA Division II Central Washington in May.
Mouat is among four finalists for the Carroll job. The others are Michelle Skyles, top assistant at Seattle Pacific University; Mike Jewett, former head coach at Southwest Minnesota State University; and Weber State associate head coach Rachelle Sayers. In all, Carroll administrators said there were over 80 applicants for the position.
Mouat, who has coached the Skylights for the past six seasons, has more than 18 years of coaching experience under his belt and is a familiar name in Frontier Conference circles. Before coming to MSU-N, where he helped take the Skylights back to the NAIA national tournament in his first season at the helm, he was an assistant coach under Brian Henderson at Rocky Mountain College, so he certainly has the experience in Frontier and NAIA women’s basketball.
Overall, Mouat has been highly successful at Northern, leading them to multiple top-four finishes in the Frontier Conference, as well as the national tourney appearance in which the Skylights reached the round of 16. He’s also helped four Skylights achieve NAIA All-American status and had 12 players earn Frontier All-Conference honors during his tenure. Mouat has also compiled a 100-78 record over his six years at MSU-N.
Mouat is a Helena native, graduating from Helena High School, and he, as well as Nelson learned their craft over former Carroll men's coach Gary Turcott.
“I was extremely excited about the quality of applicants we had in this pool,” Carroll athletic director Bruce Parker told the Helena Independent Record said. “The four we’re bringing in really kind of rose to the top for this position initially.
“This is a very important hire for us and we need someone who can continue the success we’ve had in the program.”
Parker said he hopes to make the new hire by the end of this week.