When Wayne Tinkle was introduced to the media in Corvallis, he stated he had chances to leave the University of Montana before, and it was going to take a school that was the right fit. Turns out…the right fit happened to be fairly similar to Missoula.
"I just feel like, and Lisa and I talked about this, if we could ever find a place like Missoula that's at a little different level, that's what we would look at, and it feels like it's all fallen into place there in Corvallis." says Tinkle
It's been a whirlwind couple weeks for coach Tinkle, and while he's excited for the opportunity to challenge in the Pac-12 conference, he's thankful for the support he's received since the hiring was made official.
"I was just telling someone I can't believe it's really already been a week. Everything moved real quickly, but it's really a great opportunity. What's neat is the support I've gotten from the people here in Missoula, saying 'Thanks, we're going to miss you, but thanks for all you've done," I've gotten emails from students I've never met just talking about the way we carried ourselves on campus, and the impact we left behind. It's going to be hard when I pull out of town tomorrow, I will be back a few times, but I never thought I'd be looking at Missoula in the rear-view mirror," says Tinkle.
As for his former school, the Grizzlies have a new coach to hire. While Tinkle didn't get into specifics, he says there is a reason a long list of former assistants have succeeded at Montana stepping into the head coaching role.
"The big thing now is there is a formula or blue-print to how we do things and how it leads to success. So when you've got someone in the staff that's been immersed in that and understands it, then they put their own tweaks into the system, but they understand the most important things of why it's successful, so it's a very smooth transition moving forward," says Tinkle.
Tinkle also touched on his son Tres, a highly regarded high school basketball player who is deciding on whether he will move with his family to Oregon for his senior year.
"I think he needs to spend some time in Corvallis to see how he fits in. I know his facebook was blowing up that Monday from people from both high schools there trying to persuade him to enroll in their schools and that was fun for him, but he's got a sensitive side to him, and he's really attached to Hellgate for a lot of reasons and with a lot of people so it's going to be tough. I went through it multiple times growing up, but never going into my senior year of high school. So that decision will be made, I know it would be hard for him to stay behind with Lisa and I in Corvallis. There has been no shortage of people volunteering their houses to keep him, but we'll make the decision as a family at the appropriate time, and it's going to take time because of what this place has meant to us and to him as well," says Tinkle