DILLON — For the first time in 31 years, the University of Montana Western has a new rodeo coach. Following a national search, Director of Athletics Bill Wilson announced Tuesday that Kody Lahaye will lead the Bulldog men’s and women’s rodeo teams.
“We are very excited to have Kody Lahaye return to Montana Western as our new head men’s and women’s rodeo coach,” Wilson said. “Kody is well respected within the rodeo community and throughout the hiring process his name kept surfacing as the one to lead our nationally-recognized rodeo teams.”
Lahaye will take the reigns as head coach on Aug. 1. He will take over for longtime coach Iola “Olie” Else, who is retiring at the end of the season.
Currently, Lahaye is the assistant men’s and women’s rodeo coach at Montana State University in Bozeman. As an assistant at MSU, Lahaye coached numerous student-athletes who qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming.
“I’m excited to be back in Dillon and be a part of the program again, Lahaye said. “The rode program is set on a strong foundation. I’m excited to build on what is already there and keep it moving forward.
Lahaye attended Western from 2009-2014 and was a member of the rodeo team, competing in tie-down roping, team roping and steer wrestling.
As a Bulldog, Lahaye was a 2014 reserve champion all-around cowboy as well as reserve champions steer wrestler in 2014. He qualified for the College National Finals four consecutive years, spanning 20111 through 2014. He finished fifth in the nation for steer wrestling in 2013, and earned an eight-place finish for steer wrestling in 2014. At the regional level, he was a champion team roper in 2011. In 2012, he was a reserve champion tie-down roper.
After graduating with a degree in business administration, Lahaye stayed at Western as an assistant coach for two seasons before taking the assistant job at MSU.
“Kody is a Bulldog through and through,” Wilson said, “and I am certain he will make an immediate positive impact on the UMW campus.”
— Montana Western