By Kim Staudinger
Missoula native Shawn Huse is the new head men's basketball coach at Montana State University-Northern.
"Coach Huse's credentials are excellent, his references spoke highly of him and the fact that he was born and raised in Missoula, Montana, and played college basketball in the Frontier Conference make him a perfect fit at Northern," MSU-N Chancellor Alex Capdeville said in a press release today.
Reached this morning by telephone, Huse said,
"I'm honestly just so excited. I haven't even had the time to really gather my thoughts. I'm just taken by my emotions."
Huse has been an assistant coach at the University of Nebraska at Kearney since August 2000. He has been in charge of defense, game scheduling, film exchange, recruiting research and correspondence, and was the director of all six summer camps the school held.
Before his time at Kearney, Huse was an assistant coach for three years at Montana Tech. He was also the junior varsity coach for one year at Missoula Big Sky High School.
Huse's Montana connections don't stop there. He played college basketball at Montana Tech from 1991 to 1995 and was named Frontier Conference player of the year in 1995. He also was a member of the Frontier Conference All-Conference team in 1993-1994 and 1994-1995 and was named to the academic All-Frontier Conference team from 1993-1995. Huse's older brother Brad, who is the head basketball coach at Jamestown College in North Dakota, also played basketball in the Frontier Conference.
MSU-N athletics director Ted Spatkowski said the main reason Huse was selected is his knowledge of basketball in Montana. A selection committee interviewed Huse and three other candidates.
"He has shown a steady progress of improving his position since he first began," Spatkowski said. "He was an outstanding player in the Frontier Conference so he knows the coaches, the players and what it will take to win."
Huse, 30, will take over the position vacated April 5 when Brian Harrell resigned after an audit was conducted on his program. The audit has been turned over to the Attorney General's Office for review.
"We interviewed four outstanding candidates for the position and the decision was a difficult one to make," Capdeville said.
Spatkowski added: "Shawn Huse laid out a vision for what he perceives Northern's men's program as being, and it fits perfectly with our department's goals."
Huse will graduate this summer with a master's degree in physical education/sports administration. He earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Montana Tech and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Montana. He has teaching experience at both the collegiate and high school level.
Huse plans to marry this summer. His fiance is also from Missoula and played volleyball at Tech.
His contract will begin August 1.