MISSOULA — Days after reportedly accepting the position, Shannon Schweyen has been officially become the head coach of the Montana Lady Griz basketball program.
Schweyen takes over for the recently retired Robin Selvig, her hire being announced in a press release from the UM athletic department Wednesday afternoon. The longtime assistant to Selvig was offered and accepted the job over the weekend.
On Monday the former Lady Griz player signed a three-year contract that runs through June 30, 2019. The contract has been approved by the University of Montana president's office but is still pending Board of Regents approval.
"Obviously this is a dream job," Schweyen said in the university release. "I feel fortunate I've been given the chance to carry on the amazing things Rob did here and continue the tradition he established over the last 38 years."
Schweyen was a Kodak All-American when she was Shannon Cate and playing in Missoula from 1988-92. She remains the program's leading career scorer with 2,172 career points.
She then transitioned to coaching under Selvig beginning with the 1992-93 season and was part of 13 NCAA tournament teams, 14 Big Sky Conference regular-season titles and 531 victories as his assistant.
The Billings Central graduate is the latest in a series of new Grizzly head coaches, but the first that athletic director Kent Haslam has hired from within the program. Dating back to Haslam's first day as athletic director in September 2012, he has now hired head coaches for football, men's and women's basketball, golf, softball and volleyball.
"This wasn't simply handing a job to a longtime assistant out of loyalty," Haslam said via the release. "Shannon interviewed with different people on and off campus, and shared her plan and her vision for the program. She earned this opportunity. I'm confident she's ready for this job. I'm excited to see where she takes it."
What Selvig, who went 865-286 over his career, the seventh-most wins in NCAA women's basketball history, built over nearly four decades was celebrated two weeks ago upon the announcement that he was retiring. It's that tradition of success that Schweyen has been charged with continuing.
Over 38 years, Selvig's teams produced 36 winning seasons and 31 20-win campaigns. Twenty-four of his teams won regular-season conference championships, 21 advancing to the NCAA tournament.
"I think it's only fitting that someone within our program was the next head coach," Selvig said. "Shannon has been a part of Lady Griz basketball for a long time. She was a great player and then a coach in a program that's done pretty well over the years. I know the program will be in good hands."
A press conference introducing Schweyen as the new head coach is scheduled for Thursday morning.