UPDATE – University of Montana Lady Griz Head Coach Robin Selvig Gets 800th Win [AUDIO]
UPDATE - Monday, November 18, 2013 9:00 p.m.
University of Montana Women's Basketball Coach Robin Selvig and his Lady Griz held on down the stretch with tough defense and clutch free throws to beat the Lady Pilots of Portland 68-61 and give Selvig his long-anticipated 800th win.
Following the final buzzer Selvig was swarmed by family, friends and former Lady Griz players all on hand for the special event.
Following the game Selvig was his characteristically humble self, putting his players first.
"I told them earlier that they said 'Robin's got 800 wins,' and then they bring out a bunch of ex-Lady Griz and that's really who got the 800 wins," Selvig said. "I'm glad to be a part of it, but I hope they all feel like they have a little piece of this, and they do. And the other thing about 800 is I'm glad we got it right now because now the girls can worry about what we need to be worried about, and that's getting better every day and winning the next one. I guess we won't call it 801, we'll just cal it the next game."
Robin Selvig with Tom Stage
Selvig, now in his 36th year as the team's head coach, is on the cusp of winning his 800th game. Not in just coaching his 800th game, but winning his 800th game, as the Lady Pilots of the University of Portland come to the Adams Center to play the Lady Griz on November 18.
University of Montana Director of Athletics Kent Haslam spoke on Friday, November 15, about just how remarkable that feat would be, should the Lady Griz win on Monday night.
"This is his 36th season," Haslam said. "Now, I'm not great at math, but I can still figure out that to get to 800 wins in less than 36 years, you've got to average over 20 wins per year, and that's always been that magic benchmark of 20-win seasons. He's done that every single year, and exceeded it, on average."
Haslam said the thing that has endeared Selvig to Montana fans, is that he has not mirrored the nomadic careers of many other coaches, racking up wins from program to program, but has accomplished all that right here in Missoula, with just one program.
"To have him do it here, to be a Montana native, to have built the program into what it is, I think it gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the lives he's impacted and the great things he's done for this university, for this state, and really, for women's sports."
Haslam said the topic of that 800th win coming up on Monday is one that Selvig's friends and players are careful not to bring up to the coach.
"I think they are just like Robin, saying 'let's not talk about it until it's done', it's funny that way," Haslam said. "There are certainly a lot of student athletes that he has impacted who are still in this area that want to be a part of celebrating this with him."
Haslam said the Lady Griz vs Portland game will be all business, and any official celebration will wait for another day.
"We'll definitely recognize it at the end of the game," Haslam said. "Our plan would be for the next home game to really celebrate, so that we don't ask him to be too distracted, because he wants to focus on the University of Portland on Monday night. After the game, we'll make plans to celebrate, and we'll certainly let the public know what those ideas are."
University of Montana Director of Athletics Kent Haslam