Choate rounds out staff with veteran OC

BOZEMAN — The thing Jeff Choate likes best about the experience Courtney Messingham brings to his new assignment as offensive coordinator at Montana State isn’t that he’s coached at every level of college football. It’s that he’s had success all along the way.

“Courtney brings a wealth of experience to our program,” Choate said of the man who will coordinate MSU’s offense in 2016 while coaching the program’s quarterbacks. “But he also brings tremendous success. He is very well-respected as a coach, and even more respected as a person. I’m very excited for him to join our program.”

Messingham’s resume offers a glimpse of college football’s pinnacle, ranging from play-calling duties in the Big XII and an appearance with Indiana in this month’s Pinstripe bowl to positions, to the grass roots level, where he was a junior college coordinator and small-college head coach. Most recently he’s been offensive quality control at IU.

“One of the great attributes Courtney brings to our role is that he has a great deal of experience coaching quarterbacks, particularly at the FBS and FCS levels,” said Choate. “But he’s also coached other position groups on offense. He has a universal view of offense that’s very rare, and he’s also worked with some of the great offensive minds in the game right now, like (Indiana head coach) Kevin Wilson and (Houston head coach) Tom Hermann.”

Messingham was a four-year letterman at Northern Iowa, where he attained a Bachelors of Technology degree in 1990, and his quarter-century career began as offensive coordinator at St. Ambrose University (1991-92) while completing his MBA at UNI (which he earned in 1992). He worked as offensive coordinator at Iowa Lakes Community College (1993-95), then coached receivers at Division II Truman State in Missouri (1996-98), working as offensive coordinator the last two of those seasons.

The Waterloo, Iowa, native moved to Missouri State as receivers coach in 1999, taking over offensive coordinator duties the next season. In 2003 he became Upper Iowa’s head coach, leaving that post in 2005 for Southern Miss. He coached Eagles receivers in 2005-06, and running backs in 2007 (also serving as recruiting coordinator). He moved to Iowa State in 2009, coaching tight ends (2009-10), receivers (2011), and quarterbacks (2012-13, also serving as offensive coordinator those two seasons) with the Cyclones. He spent 2014-15 at Indiana.

Messingham’s wide range of professional accomplishments includes mentoring 1996 Harlon Hill (NCAA Division II Player of the Year) Award winner Jarrett Anderson, a running back, while at Truman State. Also, his ISU quarterbacks threw a school-record 27 touchdown passes in 2012, and his Cyclone offenses ranked in the program’s top 10 lists in seven categories. Missouri State’s 2001 offense led the Missouri Valley with 432 yards a game. He helped Iowa State to three bowl games.

“I can’t say enough about the importance of Courtney’s broad range of experiences,” Choate said. “That will really benefit our program. He brings so many positive things to the table, including his head coaching experience and the wealth of knowledge and experience gained at all different levels of college football.”

The addition of Messingham completes Choate’s first Bobcat coaching staff, he said. He is extremely pleased with its composition.

“I think we’ve put together a great coaching staff,” Choate said. “This staff really covers all the bases. Our players will love the energy and passion of this group of coaches, but the knowledge level will be second to no one at this level. We have strong ties to Montana State’s tradition and success, we have playing and coaching experience at high levels which our players will relate strongly to, and we have coaches that have worked experienced success. I’m really excited about this coaching staff, and in time I know the MSU and Bozeman communities and Bobcats everywhere will feel this way. I can’t wait for the staff to be together and get to work building this program to a level we’ll all be proud of.”

Choate said he expects the staff to be together in full for the first time on January 3.

— MSU Sports Information

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