Dickinson State University named Derek Selvig their new men’s head basketball coach on Thursday morning.

Selvig has deep ties to Montana as he was most recently an assistant coach at Montana Tech and played at the University of Montana.

“His main experience has been at Montana Tech,” Pete Stanton Dickinson State’s athletic director said. “They have turned around their program there, and he was a big part of that. He is very connected to the AAU teams in the region and the coaches from Montana and Wyoming. He has family from North Dakota, and he is a very good coach and person. He is going to be someone who is going to lead our program.”

Selvig helped lead the Grizzlies to appearances in the NCAA tournament in 2010 and 2012 and scored over 800 points in his college career.

The 7-footer went 44-4 in his junior and senior year of high school at Dawson County High School in Glendive, Mont., where his dad was the head coach. He was named the 2007 Montana Gatorade Player of the Year.

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Professionally, he played overseas in Germany after finishing his career as a Grizzly.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better start or better people. I have known Coach McCarvel, the football offensive coordinator and assistant athletic director at Dickinson State, for a long time. The biggest thing he kept stressing to me is the people at Dickinson State and how great it is,” Selvig said. “ It sounds like a very similar working environment to Montana Tech. If I am going to take the reins as a head coach, I definitely want to enjoy the people I am working with. Growing up in Glendive, I know the program and area very well.”

Selvig’s experience, character and connections stood out to Stanton in the interview process.

He helped turn Montana Tech around, and the hope is that, along with local talent, he can mine Montana for future Blue Hawks.

He also is going to heavily focus on building relationships with the current players in the short term.

“I look forward to connecting with as many high school coaches as possible,” Selvig said. “A big part of our success at Montana Tech has been that I have been heavily involved with AAU teams. I look to do the same in Dickinson. I think we can pull kids from Montana to Dickinson State. Right now, my focus is to connect with the current players. The biggest recruits right now are the guys who have already committed to play here. I want to do this thing right by building relationships with them and getting things off on the right foot.”

Selvig is ready for his first college basketball head coaching gig. He gives credit to the whole Montana Tech coaching staff, and he hopes that his experiences can lead to success. Montana Tech has played Dickinson State in the past making Selvig semi-familiar with the Blue Hawks, and they have played Valley City State in the past few seasons giving him some insight on one of Dickinson State’s conference foes.

The fine details he took away from his time at Montana Tech make him confident that he is ready.

“Derek is a guy that stood out with all of us for the type of person he is and his character…,” Stanton said. “I also think he is a guy who is very well connected in our region. He is very well known in our three or four state region. He recruits this region already.”