DILLON — University of Montana Western head football coach Ryan Nourse will become the school’s new athletic director, the school announced today. Nourse takes over his new duties on July 1.
Since coming to Montana Western, Nourse has made great strides within the football program, improving the team’s record from 1-10 upon his arrival to 2-9 his first season in 2011 and 4-6 in 2012. Although it was a difficult decision to leave his team, Nourse said he is excited for the opportunity to stay at Montana Western and lead the athletic department.
“I think we’re at a good place in football and it will continue to grow,” Nourse said. “I made the decision based on the fact that I really felt like I could make a positive impact on the athletic program, and I knew if I could make a positive impact there I can make an overall positive impact on the university. I think I can bring the things that are necessary to grow the program, and I love Montana Western and living in Dillon.”
Nourse came to the UMW football coaching position from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa where he was the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, recruiting coordinator and camp coordinator during 2010 and the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator from 2003 to 2008.
Nourse earned a Bachelor of Science in History and Political Science Education from Montana Western in 1997. He was also a starting wide receiver for the Bulldogs and was part of the Hall of Fame 1994 Frontier Conference Championship team.
“This university really helped mold me into a teacher and coach,” Nourse said of his alma mater. “It has been a driving force in my career since then.”
Nourse also earned a Masters of Arts in Professional Education from Morningside College in 2007. While he had a very successful career at Morningside, including earning the 2007 NAIA National Assistant Coach of the Year award, Nourse said he jumped at the opportunity to return to Montana Western and Dillon.
Nourse will replace Janelle Handlos, who has been the interim athletic director at Montana Western since May 2012. Handlos will finish her service as interim athletic director before returning to her full-time position as the head athletic trainer for the Bulldogs on July 1.
Montana Western will be exploring available options to finalize the head football coaching position in the next several weeks.
University of Montana Western Chancellor Richard Storey praised the work Handlos has done in keeping the athletic program moving forward and said Nourse will be a great asset to the campus in his new role.
“Ryan’s commitment to this campus has been strong since he was a student here,” Storey said. “His familiarity with Montana Western, his dedication to our student-athletes and his determination to succeed will serve the Bulldogs well.”
— UM Western Sports Information