MISSOULA — It appears Robin Pflugrad, fired as Montana’s coach a little over 10 months ago, is getting back into coaching at Weber State University.
A source confirmed Wednesday what first appeared on FootballScoop.com – that Pflugrad, who coached the Montana Grizzlies from 2010-11, would be Wildcat head coach Jody Sears’ offensive coordinator.
The person spoke to the Missoulian on condition of anonymity because Weber State has not made an announcement.
Attempts to reach Pflugrad were unsuccessful; Weber State sports information director Paul Grua said no announcements from the school were expected Wednesday.
Pflugrad’s new job keeps him in the Big Sky Conference – Weber State visits UM Nov. 16 – and means he’s replacing the guy he hired at UM a year ago, Timm Rosenbach.
Rosenbach spent one season as UM’s offensive coordinator and then left for Weber State shortly after the Grizzlies’ 16-7 loss to Montana State that ended a 5-6 season.
Rosenbach cited the opportunity to work for Sears, a football teammate in high school and at Washington State, but his tenure with the Wildcats lasted just two months. He left for UNLV on Jan. 16.
In will step Pflugrad, whose lengthy coaching career began at Portland State in 1982. In that time he has never been an offensive coordinator, though he brought Oregon’s spread-option, no-huddle offense to the Grizzlies in 2010.
Pflugrad was fired by UM, along with athletic director Jim O’Day, last March 29. The dismissals came not long after Pflugrad spoke highly of his embattled quarterback, Jordan Johnson, who is now on trial for rape in Missoula.
It was his only head coaching job, and came after two earlier runs at guiding the Griz in 2000 and 2003. Montana went 18-7 in his tenure, making the Football Championship Subdivisional semis in 2011.
In early December Pflugrad spoke at length with the Oregonian newspaper about his career being in limbo following the dismissal.
He allowed that his comments on Johnson were ill-chosen and that, “If I had stopped after saying, ‘He means a heckuva lot,’ I might still have a job.”
The Griz also faced allegations of a gang rape on the eve of their 2011 semifinal loss at Sam Houston State.
Neither that allegation, nor another allegation of a gang rape in 2010 that was publicized by independent investigator Diane Barz, resulted in charges. Still, UM has seen the NCAA come to town, along with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education.
“We didn’t have all angels,” Pflugrad told the Oregonian. “We had issues. We disciplined every single kid who in our opinion, deserved discipline.”
Pflugrad also said he’d worked hard to change the culture of a program he’d inherited from Bobby Hauck. Now Hauck, coaching the UNLV Rebels, has Rosenbach as his offensive coordinator (UNLV announced the hiring of Tim Hauck, Bobby’s brother, as defensive coordinator on Wednesday).
And Pflugrad is headed to Weber State, which had its share of upheaval in 2012 and went 2-9 in Sears’ first season.