MISSOULA — The Montana football program has brought another UM alumnus back into the fold, the university announced Tuesday morning.
Brent Pease, a former Grizzly athletic standout, is coming back to Montana as assistant head coach and wide receivers coach.
"To have Brent Pease as the assistant head coach to help guide and lead the program is a great benefit to Montana football," Montana coach Bobby Hauck said in a news release. "With his experience and both he and Paula's ties to the university, it is a big win for our school and our program to have him back."
Hauck added: "Brent has coached for a lot of years at a lot of great programs with a lot of great coaches. He has a strong background in offensive football, and his ability to help us put our offense into place as well as being able to coach any position on the field is going to enhance our ability to move the football and score points."
Pease suited up at quarterback under Don Read before graduating from UM in 1986. That season, Pease paced the Division 1-AA (now FCS) in total offense with an average of 309 yards per game. He ended his senior campaign with 3,056 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. Both figures are former program records.
Pease was the first Grizzly quarterback to pass for more than 3,000 yards in a season and just the second to top 3,500 career passing yards.
"It really didn't take me long to answer him," Pease said of Hauck in the release. "I am very excited about coming back to the tradition and everything this place is about," said Pease. "Whenever you get a chance to come back to a school you have a tremendous amount of passion for, I think the decision making process is easy."
After his UM playing days were over, the Minnesota Vikings drafted Pease in the 11th round of the 1987 NFL Draft. The Vikings released him and started three games for the Houston Oilers as a rookie during the strike-shortened 1987 NFL campaign, finishing with 728 yards and three touchdowns. Pease remained with the Oilers for the following year, but saw only minimal action.
He bounced around the league, having short stints with the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears before playing in the now-defunct World League of American Football. The WLAF, more commonly known as NFL Europe, began in 1991 and Pease was the first quarterback selected in its draft.
Simultaneously to his WLAF playing days, Pease started his coaching career as an offensive assistant for Montana. He remained in that role from 1991-95 before being named offensive coordinator in 1996. He helmed the Grizzly offense for two seasons before being hired at Northern Arizona to coach quarterbacks and be offensive coordinator.
"Coach Hauck and I have been friends ever since we went to school together here. I was very humbled an honored to be a part of what he's putting together on his second time around," Pease said in the release.
"I've followed this place since the day I left. I know what this school has been built on, I know the DNA of it, and I want it to win. I'm just excited to be part of it."
Pease coached at NAU for two seasons before heading to Kentucky, where he served as the Wildcats' assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2001-02. He spent the following three seasons at Baylor in similar roles before coaching at Boise State from 2006-11.
In 2012, Pease went back to the SEC to lead Florida's offense for two seasons before going separate directions. Since then, he coached Washington's wideouts in 2014-15 before being let go after the 2015 season.
Pease was most recently UTEP's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He was fired in September after UTEP lost to Arizona in the third week of the season to move to an 0-3 record.
Even though Pease has coached at numerous places, including SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12 schools, he said that regardless of where he's at, he's in this business for the players.
"I want to make them understand what the standard of the position is and the standard of this place is all about. To make them understand what the expectations are, and there is a level to achieve," Pease said in the release.
"I'm here to make them a better football player so they can be the best version of themselves and be productive members of the community."