MSU-Northern Announces Head Football Coach Finalists - News, Sports and Weather

MSU-Northern Announces Head Football Coach Finalists

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Three candidates for the head football coaching position at Montana State University-Northern have emerged as finalists. Each candidate will be in Havre next week for on campus interviews and community open forums. The three finalists are: Ryan Gatch, Kelly Bills, and Aaron Christensen.

The interviews and forums will take place next week beginning with Gatch on Monday (Dec. 15), followed by Bills on Wednesday (Dec. 17), and Christensen on Thursday (Dec. 18). All open forums will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the Hensler Auditorium in Northern's Applied Technology Center.

Ryan Gatch is currently the Head Football Coach/Physical Education Instructor at Deadwood High School in Lead, South Dakota. During the past 14 years he has worked at numerous colleges including MSU-Northern and has worked with the Outside Linebackers, Defensive Line, Offensive Line, Linebackers, Strength & Conditioning, Camp Coordinator, and Recruiting Coordinator. Gatch has an M.S. in Education, Health, Physical Education, and Recreation from Chadron State College and a B.S. in Education, Physical Education (K-12), with a Minor in Geography & Coaching from Dickinson State University.

Kelly Bills is currently the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach at Willamette University where he leads all aspects of an offense that has scored a record 40 points per game for the past two seasons. Prior to his role at Willamette, he served as offensive graduate assistant at Brigham Young University from 2008-2012. During this time period, BYU's offense ranked among the top in the nation in multiple metrics. He has coached every position on offense at the Division I level and has coached several current and former NFL players during his time at BYU. Bills has a B.A. in History from Brigham Young University.

Aaron Christensen is currently the Offensive Coordinator and Recruiting Coordinator at Missouri Valley College. Christiansen has coached at the NAIA level for over 10 seasons. During this time, he has been able to work as a Running Back Coach, Video Coordinator, Passing Game Coordinator, and Wide Receivers' Coach. He has been part of four consecutive HAAC Championships and four NAIA Playoff appearances over the past four seasons (including a NAIA Semi-Final Appearance in 2012). Christensen has an M.A. in Management from Lindenwood University and a B.A. in Management form Si Tanka Huron University.

"We had 62 very qualified applicants for this position and I believe we have identified three finalists who possess different experiences and unique qualities that make them outstanding candidates to lead the Lights football program," said Christian Oberquell, MSU-Northern's Athletic Director.

After the candidates have visited campus, the search committee will compile a list of pros and cons for each candidate based on the input they receive from the evaluation forms people fill out at the meetings. Chancellor Greg Kegel and Athletic Director, Christian Oberquell, will review all of the information and will make the final decision. No official date has been set for naming the new Head Football Coach. The Head Football Coach Search Committee is composed of representatives from the campus and community.

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