MSU men hire Wetzel as assistant

BOZEMAN — Justin Wetzel, former Associate Head basketball coach at MSU Billings, has joined the Montana State Bobcats coaching staff, head coach Brad Huse announced Wednesday.

“I’m thrilled that Justin has joined our program,” Huse said. “He is a well-rounded coach who can handle many areas within our program and do it with energy, substance and professionalism. He is well-respected around Montana and within the college coaching ranks, and recently he has been a finalist and interviewed for college head coaching positions so his talents aren’t a secret.”

Wetzel served as assistant coach for former Bobcat assistant George Pfeifer from 2008-11 before becoming associate head coach under Jamie Stevens the past two seasons at MSU Billings. He was part of a program revival there, inheriting a program that had won one game in 2007-08 and guiding it to winning records in the past two years, the school’s first consecutive winning campaigns since 2006.

Huse likes the intensity Wetzel brings to Bobcat basketball. “Justin is a grinder and he will be involved with almost every phase of our program,” Huse said. “I know that our players will appreciate the sincerity and work ethic he brings to the team.”

Originally from Cut Bank, Wetzel earned Bachelors (2004) and Master’s (2013) degrees from MSUB after playing at Dawson Community College (2000-02). His involvement in all aspects of the Yellowjackets program helped boost MSU-B to the 2012 NCAA Division II tournament and the 2013 GNAC tourney this spring. During his time at MSU Billings he coordinated recruiting, academics, team travel, and camps.

The dual attraction of joining a Division I program and working for Huse were too much for Wetzel to pass up, he said. “This is a tremendous opportunity from a personal and professional standpoint,” he said. “Specifically, Coach Huse and I have a lot of mutual friends, so apart from working at the Division I level a big selling point was his commitment not just to winning but to winning the right way. His emphasis on bringing the right kind of guys here is important.”

Wetzel also worked in various roles for the Great Falls Explorers (2006-08) and Butte Daredevils (2008) of the CBA. Prior to that he coached at Broadview/Lavina (2004-06), Ryegate (2003-04) and Joliet (2002-03) high schools in Montana.

Wetzel’s duties begin immediately.

— MSU Sports Information

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