Shannon Schweyen Introduced As New Lady Griz Head Coach
There was very little drama in the announcement of the new head coach of Montana women's basketball. The search was mostly a formality, as it began and ended with one name, Shannon Schweyen.
As a player, then Shannon Cate, she became the greatest player ever to wear a Lady Griz uniform, then, after becoming Shannon Schweyen, she was Robin Selvig's assistant for 24 years before he announced his retirement two weeks ago.
University of Montana Athletic Director Kent Haslam officially introduced Schweyen as the new head coach at a press conference in the Sky Club on Thursday.
"I mentioned two weeks ago that I'd be a fool not to have looked at Shannon as a strong candidate for this job, and I meant that," Haslam said. "I did want to go through the hiring process, and Shannon's name was certainly at the top of the list. I wanted to give Shannon an opportunity to share her vision. She came prepared and took nothing for granted. She is ready for this job."
Schweyen said she was looking forward to continuing the successes of her coach and mentor, Robin Selvig.
"I am excited about the challenge," Schweyen said. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to coach this team. I'm very lucky to be familiar with the ladies that are on this team this coming season, and I think it's going to be an incredible journey together."
Schweyen said she was looking forward to the addition of another legendary coaching name, Petrino, to soon join her staff.
"Mike Petrino, who I'm planning on hiring, was formerly at the University of Wyoming, and most recently at the University of Colorado is coming on board, and he has a lot of great ideas," she said. "I've got a real two-for-one there, because his wife is a psychologist, so I'm going to able to use her as well," she said to laughter from the audience. "I'm not sure who I'll be spending more time with. Mike has been eager to get back to Montana and he comes from a great coaching lineage. He's been fired up about Montana for a long time and I think he'll bring a lot of great ideas."
Schweyen said she would continue to recruit Montana heavily and get the state's best players to Missoula, but plans on expanding her focus to the rest of the country and perhaps, even overseas.
"Everybody's looking at heading overseas, and sometimes just one real impact player can really make a difference, so we'll look in a lot of different directions."
Schewyen said she would not be shy about asking Selvig's advice, when she feels it necessary, but she plans on steering her own ship into the future, and her future is right here in Missoula.