BOZEMAN, Mont. — Two former North Dakota State football assistant coaches, including former Bison player and Buxton, N.D., product Brent Vigen, are possibilities to become the next head coach at Montana State, according to a report by Skyline Sports.
The Montana-based website says Vigen and former Bison offensive coordinator Tim Polasek are candidates to replace Jeff Choate as the head coach of the Bobcats. Choate, who led Montana State to the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals in 2019, left Bozeman to take an assistant job at Texas of the Big 12.
Vigen and Polasek were both candidates for the NDSU job when Chris Klieman left for Kansas State after the 2018 season. They are believed to be the only other candidates who were interviewed by NDSU, which gave the job to Matt Entz.
The Montana State job is drawing national attention because former NFL coach Jeff Fisher is apparently interested, going so far as posting an aerial photo of Bozeman online.
Skyline reports a large list of names as possible candidates for the Bobcats job. Montana State is an attractive FCS job because the program has a track record of success, including recently, and gets good institutional and community support.
Vigen has an impressive resume of developing quarterbacks. He coached Carson Wentz and Brock Jensen at NDSU and, after leaving the Bison with Craig Bohl when Bohl took the head coaching job at Wyoming in 2014, coached Josh Allen in Laramie. Both Wentz and Allen were first-round NFL draft picks.
Vigen played high school football at Central Valley before playing tight end with the Bison from 1994-1997 under head coach Bob Babich. He climbed the ladder with the Bison coaching staff, starting out as a graduate assistant in 1998 and coaching tight ends, running backs and quarterbacks before being named offensive coordinator in 2009.
NDSU won three straight national championships from 2011-2013 behind Jensen, with Wentz as the backup. Vigen left Fargo when Bohl took the head job at Wyoming. He's been the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with the Cowboys since 2014 and added the associate head coach title in 2017.
Vigen is 45 and reported to make $350,000 a year.
Polasek has been the offensive line coach at Iowa since 2017. He had two previous stints at NDSU, including as the offensive coordinator under head coach Chris Klieman from 2014-2016. Polasek also coached at NDSU from 2006-12, when he coached running backs, tight ends and fullback. He was also special teams coordinator from 2010-12.
Polasek was an assistant at Northern Illinois in 2013. He is a native of Wisconsin and played quarterback at Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Montana State opted out of the FCS spring season, so the school is under no deadline to make a hire with games beginning in a couple of weeks.
Skyline Sports named Nebraska assistant Matt Lubick and Cal assistant Charlie Ragle as the leading candidates for the Montana State job.
Skyline also reported South Dakota State offensive coordinator Jason Eck was on the list of candidates for Montana State's search committee, but he asked that his name be removed.