Griz football season is right around the corner but it's not the only UM sport creating some buzz around the athletic department. Softball will become a new sport starting in the spring of 2014 and the search for a coach is almost complete.
"There was not a lack of interest in this position, I think well over 100 folks applied for it and we are in the process of getting those down and announcing the finalist who will be brought on to campus," said UM Athletic Director Kent Haslam.
Haslam says they have narrowed their search down to three, and whoever they select as coach will the tough task of building a program from the ground up.
"There will be challenges but we are excited and ready for them to be on board and take the lead and start to find young ladies that want to be Grizzlies," said Haslam.
For the first year, maybe two, the UM softball team will play here on the field at Sentinel High School, while the university hashes at stadium plans. The Griz will be the only division one softball program in the state and they're excited to open up new doors for prep athletes in Montana.
"We do now offer opportunities for ladies in the state of Montana to their athletic and academic career and it's a very popular sport in the state of Montana, it's serves the young ladies that are here in this region and in this state," said Haslam.
Haslam says there's been a lot of hours put in to getting UM softball to this point, but the real work will start when the coach is selected.
"The priorities will be making sure we go out across the state and start to develop good relationships with high school and club coaches and we will really become Montana's softball program we are really the only division one softball program in the entire state," said Haslam.
The three finalist will be on campus August 12-14th where they will meet the public and answer questions from 4-5 pm in the UC Center room 330.