Silsby Leaving UGF for Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Ari - News, Sports and Weather

Silsby Leaving UGF for Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Arizona

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GREAT FALLS, Mont. – University of Great Falls head men’s basketball coach Steve Silsby has announced that he is leaving the program to take the same position at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler, Ariz.

Silsby’s wife, Carrie, grew up in Phoenix and still has parents and relatives in the area.

“It’s based strictly on where I think is best for my family,” Silsby said. “I’ve always said that my No. 1 priority is my family, so as long as I can take care of them I’m good.”

UGF athletic director Gary Ehnes was the school’s softball coach when Silsby came to UGF, and raved about the heights to which Silsby has taken the Argonauts program.

“He’s brought the program to a level where we’ve competed for the Frontier Conference championship the last three years,” Ehnes said. “I wish him nothing but the best. He did a good job here and we’re sorry to see him go.”

Silsby recently completed his eighth season as the Argonauts’ head coach He built the program into a perennial Frontier Conference contender and reached the conference semifinals in 2013-14. UGF finished the season with an 18-13 record including an 8-8 mark in conference play.

The Argos broke into the NAIA Top 25 poll for the first time during the 2013-14 season, and the regular season included victories over then-No. 6 Arizona Christian, then-No. 18 Montana Western, then-No. 10 Rocky Mountain, and then-No. 18 MSU-Northern in the conference quarterfinals.

Silby finished with an overall record of 103-138 at UGF – including a conference mark of 37-81. In his final three seasons he compiled a record of 56-37 with a conference record of 24-24. He achieved his 100th career victory Jan. 31 when the Argos topped Montana Tech 65-54 in Butte.

“I loved my time here at the University of Great Falls,” Silsby said. “I was lucky. Those early years were tough. I had a president who stuck by me, who believed in me and an athletic director who believed in me. I feel like I’m leaving the program in a better place than when I got here, and I hope everybody will see it that way.”

Silsby coached a number of All-Frontier Conference performers including two-time conference player of the year and two-time NAIA Division I All-American second team pick Marcel Towns, who graduated in 2014.

Silsby spent one year as an assistant at UGF before he replaced Antonio Veloso in 2006. He also served as the men’s and women’s head golf coach at UGF.

“I’ve built up relationships with a lot of these guys – they sweat, they bleed and they do all that stuff you want them to do as a coach,” Silsby said. “They have an opportunity to be really good again. In my opinion I’m not leaving them with a bare cupboard.”

Silsby came to UGF after three years at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College where he served as the assistant men's basketball coach and assistant athletic director. He also served two years as the assistant men's basketball coach and intramural director at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.

Prior to his time in the junior college ranks, Silsby spent five years working for the Arizona State University men's basketball program as a student assistant coach.

“We will immediately begin a national search for Steve’s replacement with the goal of filling the position as soon as possible,” Ehnes said.


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