Montana head coach Bob Stitt is 1-1 in games against rival Montana State. (SLIM KIMMEL/MTN Sports)

MISSOULA – According to a report from Skyline Sports, Montana football coach Bob Stitt will not return to the Grizzlies.

The University of Montana has now confirmed Skyline Sports’ report, releasing the following statement:

“University of Montana Director of Athletics Kent Haslam announced Monday head football coach Bob Stitt’s contract will not be renewed for the 2018 season.

“These decisions are always difficult, and I understand how this impacts many people,” said Haslam. “I appreciate Bob’s contributions to the University of Montana and Grizzly Athletics. He worked tirelessly to move the football program forward with a focus on overall student-athlete success.”

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University of Montana Director of Athletics Kent Haslam announced today head football coach Bob Stitt’s contract will not be renewed for the 2018 season.”

“These decisions are always difficult, and I understand how this impacts many people,” said Haslam. “I appreciate Bob’s contributions to the University of Montana and Grizzly Athletics. He worked tirelessly to move the football program forward with a focus on overall student-athlete success.”

Haslam will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. MT today in the Adams Center Sky Club to discuss the decision.

Stitt took over the Griz football program prior to the 2015 season, compiling a 21-14 overall record, including a 14-10 mark in the Big Sky Conference. Stitt led UM to the playoffs in his first season but failed to advance to the postseason each of the past two years, ending both seasons with losses to rival Montana State.

The Bobcats defeated the Grizzlies 31-23 at Bobcat Stadium on Saturday, winning back-to-back games in the Cat-Griz series for the first time since their wins in 2002 and 2003. It was MSU’s first home win in the series since 2005.

Stitt replaced Mick Delaney as Montana’s coach prior to the 2015 season, promising an up-tempo, high-octane offense. The Grizzlies defeated North Dakota State 38-35 in a nationally televised game on ESPN in Stitt’s debut. They finished that season with an 8-5 overall record, losing to NDSU in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

Montana was 6-5 overall (3-5 in the Big Sky) last season and finished this year with a 7-4 overall (5-3 in the Big Sky) record. The Griz missed the playoffs in both 2016 and 2017.

Stitt’s initial three-year contract expires in January.

Montana has announced a press conference for 4 p.m. Follow Montana Sports for all the latest information.

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