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Former University of Wyoming Offensive Coordinator Brent Vigen leads Montana State into FCS National Championship

In his first season in charge in Bozeman, Former University of Wyoming Offensive Coordinator Brent Vigen has the Montana State Bobcats one win away from the school’s first national championship since 1984.
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 12:44 AM CST
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BOZEMAN, MONT. (Wyoming News Now) - Montana State University Head Football Coach Brent Vigen spent 18 seasons on staffs with University of Wyoming Head Football Coach Craig Bohl. The two spent seven seasons together in Laramie from 2014-20 with Vigen serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

In his first season as the man in charge in Bozeman, Vigen has taken the Bobcats to the FCS National Championship Game. It’s Montana State’s first football national championship appearance since the school won the title in 1984.

In an interview before the Bobcats departed for Frisco, Texas, the site of the FCS National Championship Game, Vigen said becoming a head coach was “a few years in the making and about finding the right opportunity.”

“In Montana State, I saw a program that had the support, had the leadership from the top down from our president through our AD, a community that’s thriving, a university that’s growing, so all the pieces were in place to be able to do what we’re doing,” said Vigen.

Before Vigen took over in Bozeman, the Bobcats made the FCS semifinals in 2019 and lost to North Dakota State, and opted out of the 2020 FCS spring season.

“The pieces were in place from a talent perspective, and we made fairly significant changes on both sides of the football schematically. Things had to come together, but I knew how close they were in ‘19 making the semifinals. They played North Dakota State in both ‘18 and ‘19. ‘18 was the second round, ‘19 was the semifinals.

“I felt like as far as a talent gap they closed that a little bit. [I’m] certainly not making it all about NDSU by any means, but we just had to paint a picture of ‘Okay, this is how we’re going to go about it, and there’s going to be a lot of hard work and trust and belief that’s going to have to go in place,’” said Vigen. “But felt like we could get to this point. Now getting there is a whole other story.”

Saturday’s opponent will be a familiar one for Vigen. His team will face off against North Dakota State, which has won eight out of the last 10 FCS National Championships.

Vigen played for the Bison in college, got his college coaching start in Fargo and won three FCS titles with Bohl there as his offensive coordinator.

“I have the roadmap as far as being part of Coach Bohl’s staff those years at NDSU, and I feel fortunate to have that experience behind me, and at the same time, I know we’re facing the school that all that was created at, so it’s not like we have some advantage because I have some inside knowledge,” said Vigen. “They’ve lived it for a long, long time.”

The game will kick off on Saturday at 10 a.m. on ESPN2.

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