Documentary About Former Lady Griz Coach Rob Selvig Premieres Tonight
A documentary detailing the career and legacy of former Lady Griz coach, Robin “Rob” Selvig, will premier tomorrow, February 20, as a featured film in the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. “The House That Rob Built” was co-directed and produced by Megan Harrington, who played for the Lady Griz under Selvig in the 1990s.
KGVO News spoke with Harrington, who talked about the documentary, as well as Selvig’s greater impact on the Lady Griz team and community. She says that before Selvig assumed his coaching position, Women’s Basketball at UM did not have the skills nor the following that they soon gained.
“When [Selvig] took over, no one really knew there was a program. The women were really just being able to play in college; the opportunity was just opening up, and it was very new,” Harrington said in the interview.
“I don’t think they had had a coach who treated them like athletes, that really knew the game, and that expected more of them. They had to be at practice, and they were committed to a team. He was a game changer for them, and that expanded into the community. He drummed up people to come see the games in Missoula—come see these girls play.”
While coaching for nearly 40 years, Selvig led the Lady Griz to 865 wins and 21 appearances at NCAA tournaments. In the process, the Lady Griz gained a large fanbase, and Selvig was voted Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year over 20 times. However, Selvig’s most significant impact may have been on the women who played on his team.
In creating the film, Harrington and her co-director, Jonathan Cipiti, made the choice to demonstrate Selvig’s impact on his players by interviewing 73 former Lady Griz who were coached by Selvig.
“We did not want to focus on one year or one team, because it’s such a story about a family and a legacy. It’s over [Selvig’s] 38 years. We talk a little bit about his playing days...and kind of the background about some of the girls,” Harrington says.
“There are some individuals with personal stories that are woven in between games or moments or stats, because it really was about so much more than just basketball. Hopefully, even if you’re not a basketball fan or a sports fan, if you’ve been part of a team or a family or a community—this is really a story that will resonate with so many people, because it’s a universal story.”
“The House That Rob Built” is being screened at the Wilma on Thursday, February 20 at 6 PM, and at the Elks Lodge on Sunday, February 23 at 6:30 PM. Both of these screenings are now sold out. A third screening was added for Sunday, February 23 at the University Center Theater at 2:00 PM. To buy tickets, visit the ZACC studio in Missoula, or access the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival website here.