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Report: With new head coach, Montana State turning to another offensive coordinator

Report: With new head coach, Montana State turning to another offensive coordinator

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Justin Udy (copy)

Offensive coordinator Justin Udy came to Montana State from Texas Tech in February 2020.

BOZEMAN — A day after Montana State announced it was hiring Brent Vigen as its next head coach, the Bobcats may also be moving to solidify their coaching staff.

FootballScoop reported Tuesday night Oregon offensive analyst Taylor Housewright, who has ties to Vigen, is expected to become MSU’s next offensive coordinator.

Justin Udy is the Bobcats’ OC. Previous head coach Jeff Choate hired Udy in February 2020, meaning Udy has yet to call a single play since Big Sky teams haven’t competed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Attempts to reach Udy were not immediately successful.

Housewright worked with Vigen in 2018 as an offensive graduate assistant working with running backs and tight ends. He was initially hired as an offensive quality control coach in the spring of 2018.

In 2019, Housewright was an offensive quality control coach at Mississippi State focusing on running backs, recruiting and helping with scouting reports and game plans. He then followed now-Ducks offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead to Oregon.

Housewright also coached at Miami of Ohio (graduate assistant), Division III Wittenberg (wide receivers) and Ashland (wide receivers for one year then defensive backs for a year). Housewright was a Division II all-American quarterback at Ashland. He was at the Cincinnati Bengals' rookie mini-camp in 2013.

“We want to have a focused and clear vision that a national championship is what we want to attain,” Vigen said in a video MSU posted on social media while talking to the players. “And I want to be clear with that. Making the playoffs, making the (quarterfinals), making the (semifinals) is great, that’s part of the ride. But winning the national championship is what we have to be all about. … This is just the beginning.”

It’s unclear what this means for Udy. He had been interviewed by Choate to be MSU’s wide receivers coach when Erik Frazier was chosen for the position after the 2018 season. That job is now open after Frazier took an offensive quality control analyst role with the Tennessee Titans.

Udy was previously Texas Tech’s offensive quality control assistant. Though he worked with an Air Raid-inspired offense, Udy didn’t intend to change MSU’s physical, run-first mentality.

Though Vigen has been known for developing quarterbacks, his offenses at Wyoming and North Dakota State have relied on the ground game.

“The identity of the program is that of a blue-collar football program,” Udy said previously. “With that being the culture, it really plays into that I want to run the ball. I want to be physical.”

Udy was the fourth offensive coordinator in Choate’s five years as MSU’s head coach.

Udy was a defensive administrative assistant at Utah State in 2018. Before that, he spent three seasons at Division II South Dakota School of Mines as an offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach. He was also an assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach at Eastern Oregon, where he played quarterback and wide receiver from 2007-11.

Udy had said previously the pandemic made his new job in Bozeman more difficult.

“It’s definitely been pretty crazy,” Udy said last year. “I think it’s like that anytime you take a new position. There’s a lot of excitement and a lot of transition that has to take place on numerous levels. For me, it’s been really positive because of the guys that I work with.”

Colton Pool can be reached at cpool@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.

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