Montana AD Thanks Tinkle, Begins Searching for New Hire

By Beacon Staff

University of Montana Athletic Director Kent Haslam sent out a statement thanking former Griz basketball coach Wayne Tinkle, wishing him all the best in his new position as the head coach at Oregon State. Haslam also said he will move swiftly but meticulously in the hiring process for a new coach in Missoula.

“I know I speak for all Griz fans in thanking Wayne for his commitment to the University of Montana,” said Haslam, who is currently on a public relations tour with the Grizzly Scholarship Association in Great Falls. “It is always difficult to see a coach leave, but I wish Wayne and Lisa nothing but the best. I know they will be successful.”

Tinkle guided the Grizzlies to three NCAA Tournament appearances in his eight-year tenure at his alma mater, and was named the head coach at OSU on Monday, May 19. He is the 21st head coach in Beaver basketball history.

“We move forward now with the search for our new head men’s basketball coach,” Haslam sad. “We will move swiftly, but I also want to be thorough. The University of Montana is a great place to work, and I know we will attract a number of well-qualified candidates. My vision is for a coach that understands the full scope of being a leader, including a commitment to athletic excellence, academic success, and community service.”

Tinkle, 48, was the head coach at Montana for eight seasons and won 158 games, the second most in school history. He led the Grizzlies to Big Sky regular-season titles in 2010, 2012 and 2013 and Big Sky Tournament championships in 2012 and 2013. His 97 conference wins are the most by any Montana coach.

He led the Griz to four postseason trips in a row (2010-13), including the NCAA Tournament in 2010, 2012 and 2013. His UM squads also advanced to the “Big Dance” three times during his five years as an assistant with the Grizzlies. He was named the Big Sky Coach of the Year after the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons and the NABC Division I All-District 6 Coach of the Year in 2012.

His Montana teams went 25-7 in both 2011-12 and 2012-13 – the second most wins in a season in school history. The Grizzlies had a stretch with 25 consecutive Big Sky victories and set a conference record with 19 league wins in 2012-13.

Montana had winning records in seven of Tinkle’s eight years as head coach and won 20 or more games in four consecutive seasons (2010-13). He is the only coach in Montana history to lead his teams to the NCAA Tournament three times and be named the Big Sky Coach of the Year twice.

He served as an assistant coach for Don Holst, Pat Kennedy and Larry Krystkowiak, who is currently the head coach at Utah. Other coaches who worked at Montana that went on to outstanding college coaching careers include Jud Heathcote (Michigan State), Krystkowiak (Montana & Utah), Mike Montgomery (Stanford & Cal), Stew Morrill (Colorado State & Utah State), and Blaine Taylor (Old Dominion).

“Tinks” was a three-time All-Big Sky Conference selection at UM from 1986-89 in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. He is fourth all-time at Montana in rebounds (836) and sixth in points (1,500). He was Montana’s Carl Dragstedt Award (MVP) winner in 1988 and 1989, and led the team in rebounding in 1987, 1988 and 1989, and in scoring in 1988 and 1989. He played professionally for 12 years with stints in the CBA and in Sweden, Spain, Italy and Greece.

He is the youngest of 11 children (seven girls and four boys). He graduated from Ferris High School in Spokane, Wash., in 1984. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Montana in health and human performance in 2005, following a lengthy stint of playing professionally.

Tinkle is married to the former Lisa McLeod, who was a star basketball player for the Lady Griz and who was inducted into the school’s “Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame” in 2011. They have two daughters, Joslyn and Elleson, and one son, Tres. Joslyn played in three basketball Final Fours during her four-year career at Stanford. Elle just concluded her sophomore basketball season at Gonzaga. Tres is a standout forward at Missoula’s Hellgate High School who was Montana’s Gatorade “Player of the Year” this past season as a junior.

His appointment is contingent on the customary completion of background checks required by OSU.

2006-07 — Montana (17-15, 10-6 Big Sky)
2007-08 — Montana (14-16, 8-8 Big Sky)
2008-09 — Montana (17-12, 11-5 Big Sky)
2009-10 — Montana (22-10, 10-6 Big Sky) — NCAA Tournament
2010-11 — Montana (21-11, 12-4 Big Sky) — CBI
2011-12 — Montana (25-7, 15-1 Big Sky) — NCAA Tournament
2012-13 — Montana (25-7, 19-1 Big Sky) — NCAA Tournament
2013-14 — Montana (17-13, 12-8 Big Sky)
OVERALL RECORD: 158-91 (8 Years)
BIG SKY RECORD: 97-39 (8 Years)

2002-06 — University of Montana, Assistant Coach

1986-89 — University of Montana

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.