BOZEMAN -- Montana State has found Jeff Choate's successor.
Brent Vigen, who has been the associate head coach at the University of Wyoming since 2017, is set to be named the next head coach of the Montana State football program, MSU announced on Monday.
“I’m excited to welcome Coach Vigen and his family, Molly, Jake, Grant and Luke, to the Bobcat family,” MSU director of athletics Leon Costello said in a media release. “Brent brings a strong pedigree that has led to national championships in the FCS and tremendous success at Wyoming, and has a nationally known reputation for identifying and developing NFL-caliber quarterbacks. I’m looking forward to working with Brent to build on the recent success of Bobcat Football. I also want to thank President (Waded) Cruzado, the search committee and the student-athletes involved for their help throughout this process.”
Choate departed Montana State in January to become the co-defensive coordinator at the University of Texas. He coached the Bobcats for four seasons, culminating with an 11-4 record and appearance in the semifinal round of the FCS Playoffs in 2019.
Vigen will inherit a staff and team built for immediate success, and he has plenty of experience in the FCS Playoffs. Prior to joining Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl's staff in 2014, Vigen was Bohl's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at North Dakota State from 2009-13, helping the Bison win FCS national championships in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Vigen, a native of Buxton, N.D., played tight end at NDSU from 1993-97. The Bison went to the NCAA Division II playoffs in 1994, 1995 and 1997. He began his coaching career at NDSU in 1998 as a graduate assistant and became a full-time coach in 2001. Vigen coached the Bison tight ends in 2001, quarterbacks in 2002 and running backs in 2003. From 2004-08, he coached the quarterbacks and served as NDSU's passing game coordinator. He was elevated to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2009 and held that position until Bohl took over the Wyoming program in 2014. Vigen took the same position on Bohl's staff at Wyoming and has held that position since 2014.
During his coaching career, Vigen has recruited and coached NFL quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Josh Allen. He was Wentz's coach at NDSU in 2012 and 2013 and then coached Allen at Wyoming from 2015-17. Wentz was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the second overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, and Allen was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the seventh overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Montana State hasn't played a game since Dec. 21, 2019, a 42-14 loss at North Dakota State in the semifinal round of the FCS Playoffs. The Big Sky Conference postponed its 2020 fall season to the spring of 2021, but Montana State has opted out of the Big Sky's conference schedule. As of now, the Bobcats' next scheduled game is Sept. 4 at Wyoming.