Casper College Men's Basketball Coach Dan Russell Leaving for Montana State

The Casper College Men's Basketball Coach Dan Russell announced his resignation.

"I always thought if I were to ever leave for a division one job, it would take a special situation," said Russell.

The Thunderbirds' head coach accepted an assistant coaching position at Montana State University. Russell will be working with a brand new head coach for the cougars and long-time friend, Danny Sprinkle.

"When he got the job, the head coaching job, I just thought it'd be somebody awesome to work for at that level, and that's part of why I made the decision that I made," recalled Russell.

Russell played for the T-birds, was an assistant for 5 years, and was then named the Thunderbirds' head coach six years ago.

"I was young and 26 years old not really knowing which way was up and just trying to keep my head above water. They supported me night in and night out, so it's been an awesome experience and difficult to leave," Russell said.

"It was been an absolute pleasure to watch him grow, from a very young coach, to a head coach that now has a region nine championship in his belt," said Kim Byrd, VP of Student Services.

Russell and the T-birds won the region nine championship and went to the national tournament for the first time in over 20 years. This past season he finished with a 32-3 record. The vice president of student services, Kim Byrd, says Russell will be difficult to replace.

"We're not going to just settle for a basketball coach. We want to make sure that we carry on the tradition that Dan has been a part of," said Byrd.

"I hold this program very dear to my heart. Whoever gets it has got a good group of kids coming back. The program's in very good shape. I wish them the best of luck," Russell emotionally recounted.

Casper College posted the men's head basketball coaching job, and said they've already fielded several applicants.