Even if we were not dealing with a pandemic, this would be an unusual off-season for University of Montana Lady Griz basketball.

It was officially announced today (Monday) by UM athletic director Kent Haslam, that Mike Petrino will serve as the interim head coach for the Lady Griz basketball program. Petrino will direct the program through the 2020-21 season. In a move that has to be considered rare when a head coach is relieved of their duties, current assistant coaches Jordan Sullivan, Nate Covill and Jace Henderson also will return. The athletic department will conduct a national search for a permanent head coach next spring. Petrino will take over for Shannon Schweyen, whose head coaching contract was not renewed at the conclusion of the 2019-2020 season.

Coach Petrino, who was born in Glasgow MT and raised in Kalispell, has more than two decades of coaching experience, from high school freshmen to the University of Colorado of the Pac-12. He has served as an assistant coach at Montana since August 2016.

“I sincerely appreciate the years of service and dedication Shannon Schweyen has given to the Lady Griz program as a player and a coach. She is without a doubt the greatest women’s basketball player in the history of Montana,” said Haslam.

“We have a wonderful tradition in women’s basketball at the University of Montana, and I am committed to continuing that for our players and fans moving forward.”

The new coach will inherit some turbulence and uncertainty, as three players have left the program in the past few weeks: Gabi Harrington, Kylie Frohlich and Jamie Pickens.

Our thanks to UM Sports Information Director Joel Carlson for sending the press release.