The Dickinson State University Blue Hawks did not have to look far to find their new offensive coordinator as they promoted Russell McCarvel to the position on Thursday night after Michael McGuire moved on to be the offensive coordinator for University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

McCarvel has been the running backs coach for the Blue Hawks coach for the past two seasons.

“We knew that over the last couple weeks that coach McGuire was looking at that position and he decided to accept it and we wish him the best of luck,” Dickinson State head coach Pete Stanton said.

McCarvel’s Montana roots run deep as in the past he was the offensive coordinator at Helena Capital High School in Helena, Mont., and head coach at both Flathead High School in Kalispell, Mont., and Dawson County High School in Glendive, Mont. His prior college experience was at Carroll College in Montana.

McCarvel has a son, Conor, who will be a sophomore wide receiver for the Blue Hawks in 2020.

Under McGuire’s watch as offensive coordinator in 2018 and 2019, quarterback Hayden Gibson blossomed into the best Dickinson State passer in school history.

Gibson totaled over 2,900 yards passing during both the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

“Both coach McCarvel and McGuire came in together two years ago and it will be a seamless transition with coach McCarvel,” said Stanton. “He is very familiar with our players and what we do offensively. He has been an offensive coordinator and head coach at several different levels in the past. He is an experienced guy.”

The team also set many offensive records over the past two seasons.

Against Mayville State last fall, the Blue Hawks offense set numerous school records with 79 points, 11 touchdowns and McCarvel’s position group reaped the benefits of the success with seven rushing touchdowns.

The offense churned out their second most years in school history with 615 yards in the 79-14 win.

In a last-second win over Waldorf in 2019, Gibson set a single game record with 63 pass attempts, 40 completions and 524 passing yards.

In 2018, the Blue Hawks scored a school record 59 touchdowns.

“We are very comfortable with coach McCarvel stepping into the offensive coordinator role,” said Stanton. “He is an experienced guy and very knowledgeable. He is the guy we wanted to lead our offense going forward and there wasn’t any hesitation in that regard.”

The Blue Hawks will now look to fill one more spot on their coaching staff to replace McGuire.