After interviewing for the vacant head coaching position at NCAA Division II Minot Stater late last week, the school announced they had chosen a candidate other than Montana State University-Northern head coach Shawn Huse.
On Wednesday afternoon, MSU held a press conference to announce the hiring of current Jamestown College head coach and former standout Matt Murken as its new head coach.
Murken had been at NAIA Division II Jamestown for the past two seasons and was named the Dakota Athletic Conference Coach of the Year this past season.
With the hiring of Murken at Minot, it means Northern gets to keep its ultra-successful head coach.
Huse is the winningest men's coach in Northern history and has led the Lights to back-to-back Frontier Conference postseason championships in 2011 and 2012. Under Huse, who will begin his 11th year at Northern this fall, the Lights have won 19 or more games nine times and gone to three NAIA national tournaments.
Minot courted Huse last week and announced him as one of four finalists for the job in just a short amount of time.
"Strange as it may sound, we are very relieved this process is over with," Huse said. "We are very happy to be staying here, and are extremely appreciative of the support shown to our family from on campus and in this community. Thank you to everyone who wished us well in this interview yet told us how much they wanted us to stay...and furthermore showed us they are glad we are not leaving. Words can not express how much that support has been appreciated by our family. Northern and this community ultimately made it very difficult to hide from Minot, where my heart is (MSU-N). I am also very very grateful to Rick (Hedberg, Minot State AD), Dr Fuller (President, Minot State), and all of their staff & supporters that reached out to me, brought me on campus, and treated me so well on my interview. They selected a great candidate and I am sure they have a bright future ahead.
"We believe we have a very good crew recruited and returning, for next year and in the future. It is exciting to me, along with the gym and campus renovations going on, to see what we can accomplish building on the momentum we've built over the years. We are very realistic and know it won't be easy with the lack of Frontier Conference experience, but we also know if they gel and play together with great chemistry, great things are always possible."
Northern begins its new season in early October and will play at home for the first time at the end of that month.