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Former Montana football assistant coach Brian Hendricks works with the defensive ends at a 2015 practice. 

MISSOULA — Another former Montana Grizzlies assistant coach has landed on his feet. 

Illinois State announced Wednesday that Brian Hendricks, formerly the defensive line coach at Montana during Bob Stitt's tenure, has been hired to coach that same position for the Redbirds. 

"It's a wonderful opportunity for me to join the coaching staff at Illinois State and coach in the Missouri Valley Football Conference," Hendricks said in a news release. "I played against teams from this league when I was at Wyoming and coached teams when I was at Montana, so I know how tough this league is and I look forward to now coaching in it.

"I've had a chance to meet some of the players and I couldn't be more excited to work with those men. Coach Spack has established program here at ISU that is tough and plays the game the right way, which is what I try to do as a coach. I look forward to learning as much as I can and helping ISU continue to move forward." 

He's the second Griz coach to be hired by Brock Spack's staff in the offseason. Former Griz linebackers and special teams coordinator Travis Niekamp was hired to be the Redbirds' defensive coordinator on Jan. 4

"We are excited to add Brian to the staff to work with our defensive linemen," Spack said in a news release. "He and Travis worked together at Montana and Travis was high on adding Brian to the staff. I feel it's very important for the coordinator to have a say in who he will be working with, so that prior experience with those two should only help aid in the transition.

"The coaches I have talked to about Brian have raved about him and his work ethic. He's tough, smart and someone our players will gravitate to because he's played and coached at a high level."

Before coming to Montana in 2015, Hendricks coached alongside Stitt at Colorado School of Mines for two seasons. He spent a short time at Colorado State as a defensive graduate assistant after his playing career at Wyoming ended in 2011. 

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— Amie Just, 406mtsports.com

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