Longtime Colorado School of Mines coach Bob Stitt agreed to become the new head coach at Montana, FootballScoop learned late Friday night. Fox Sports also reported the hire.
Stitt went 108-62 in 15 seasons at Colorado Mines, leading the Orediggers to three Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championships. He was twice named the RMAC Coach of the Year, and won regional coach of the year honors from D2Football.com and the AFCA in 2004. His offenses consistently moved the ball well through the air, and this season Mines ranked second in Division II with 378.3 passing yards per game.
But Division II coaches don't rise to prominence just by winning games and throwing the ball over the yard.
Stitt became famous - as famous as any Division II football coach can possibly be, at least - after the 2012 Orange Bowl, when West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen credited Stitt on national television with a nuanced version of the fly sweep his Mountaineers used to eviscerate Clemson, 70-33. From there, national features followed with CBSSports.com and USA Today, and Bob Stitt was officially a thing.
A marketable last name and a punny hashtag certainly didn't hurt.
But Stitt did not get this job on#StittHappens alone, and FCS powerhouses like Montana do not give out jobs for marketing purposes. Montana owns two national championships, seven national title appearances and 18 conference titles.
Stitt has made the most of a unique situation, turning Colorado Mines into a consistent winner with seven seasons of eight or more wins since 2004.
This job was a long time coming, and that time finally came on Friday.
Finally, Stitt's first game as Montana's head coach will be in the FCS Kickoff, an exclusive nationally-televised window a week before the rest of Division I kicks off, against three-time (and counting) defending national champion North Dakota State in Missoula. #StittHappens, indeed.
We understand that Stitt plans to retain a portion of the current staff. As always, we'll keep you updated on The Scoop as more becomes clear.