University of South Dakota Director of Athletics, David Sayler, announced Monday that the Coyote football team will play at the University of Montana Sept. 1 in Missoula, MT, completing both teams' 2012 schedules.
The Coyotes will receive a cash guarantee for the game next fall and, as a result of scheduling the game, the two schools also have negotiated a home-and-home series in 2013 and 2014. Montana will visit the DakotaDome on Nov. 9, 2013, while the Coyotes will return to Missoula Sept. 13, 2014. All dates are subject to change.
"All of Coyote Nation should be excited about this agreement with Montana," Sayler said. "Getting an established FCS program, such as Montana, to visit Vermillion continues our push to bring the best possible opponents we can into the DakotaDome for our fans, the city of Vermillion and the state of South Dakota."
The Coyotes are coming off of a 6-5 season in the final year of the Great West Conference where they went 2-2. Next season, the Coyotes begin play in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
New Coyote head football coach, Joe Glenn, will have a homecoming of sorts as he was the head football coach at Montana from 2000-02. Glenn guided the Grizzlies to the 2001 National Championship and a runner-up finish in 2000. He led the Griz to a 39-6 record, including a 20-2 mark in the Big Sky Conference as he won two conference titles and tied for a third. His 86.7 winning percentage was the best in the history of the Big Sky Conference. From the third game of the 2001 season to the 10th game of the 2002 season, Montana won 24 consecutive games, tying the I-AA all-time record. His 2001 squad set a school record with 15 wins en route to a 15-1 record and the national title.
"What a terrific way to begin our season with such a quality opponent," Glenn said. "Certainly this will be an emotional game for me, however this will be a terrific marking point for our program. We respectfully accept the challenge."
The Grizzlies are coming off of an 11-3 record and a semifinal finish in the 2011 FCS Championships with a 31-28 loss at Sam Houston State. Head coach Robin Pflugrad just completed his second season in Missoula as he took over for former head coach Bobby Hauck who became the head coach at UNLV in 2010. Pflugrad went 7-4 in his first year in Missoula, followed by his 11-3 finish in 2011.
Montana leads the all-time series with the Coyotes 9-6 and the teams haven't met on the gridiron since the Griz won in Missoula 45-13 in 1999. The Coyotes are 5-2 against the Grizzlies in Vermillion, while Montana leads the series 6-1 in Missoula and 1-0 in neutral site contests. The lone Coyote win in Missoula came in 1965 with a 15-14 decision.
The teams first met in Vermillion in 1915 with the Coyotes winning 10-7. Montana won in Vermillion in 1916 11-0 and the teams didn't play again until 1949 with a 33-13 win by Montana in Butte, MT. The schools then played every year from 1965-1975 with the Coyotes winning five and the Griz winning six during the span. In 1999 the rivalry was renewed and they haven't met since.
The Coyotes last visit to the Treasure State came in 2009 when they visited Montana State in Bozeman, MT, with a heartbreaking 31-24 loss in overtime.