As we told you on The Scoop, Montana has decided to part ways with athletic director Jim O'Day and head coach Robin Pflugrad. Associate athletic director Greg Sundberg sent an email out this morning notifying faculty and staff of the decision.
The University didn't state the exact reasons for the action; but according to reports, this morning the University also released the results of a months long investigation into sexual assault issues on campus (at least one of which reportedly involved a player on the football team).
The University has released a statement saying:
"The University of Montana has determined not to renew the contracts of Athletics Director Jim O'Day and head football coach Robin Pflugrad. The University will announce an interim athletics director and interim head coach by the end of the week. Further details about the search for permanent replacements will be released as the process develops. We thank Jim and Robin for their dedicated service to the University, and we wish them the best."
In a classy move, The Missoulian reported that O'Day sent an email out this morning to many supporters of Montana athletics stating:
"Thanks so much for all the hard work and support I've received from each of you the past 8 years as athletic director and 6 years prior to that with the GSA and UM Foundation. It has been quite a ride. While this comes as a shock to both Robin and myself, it is part of today's global picture of intercollegiate athletics across the country. I realized that when I took the job.’ Good bad or indifferent I will miss him. He is my friend and always will be.”
The football program has been dominant over the past decade, earning the title of winningest program in all of college football in the first decade of the 2000's (119 total wins), including back to back national champions national title game appearances under former head coach Bobby Hauck in '08 and '09.
In 2010, his first season as head coach, Pflugrad went 7-4 including a 71 point victory in his debut against Western State and a critical win over Northern Arizona. Each of his four losses that season were by single digits. Pflugrad went 9-2 this past regular season (11-3 including the playoffs), winning a share of the Big Sky conference title and rattling off 9 straight wins before losing in the national semi-finals to eventual runner-up Sam Houston State.