MISSOULA — Robby Hauck grew up surrounded by all things Montana football.
That wasn't out of the ordinary, considering his dad, Bobby Hauck, was UM's head coach for a significant amount of his childhood.
Fast forward almost 10 years.
Robby's finishing his first year of college and redshirted as a safety at Northern Arizona this past fall.
The week before Bobby accepted the job to come back to Montana, his son gave him a call.
"He called that week and said, 'If you take that job, can I come?'" Bobby recollected on Friday afternoon with a smile. "And I said, 'Sure.' That was about it."
During his opening press conference on Dec. 1, Bobby alluded to his son's transfer saying that some of his progeny were going to be fourth-generation Montana graduates. Considering Bobby's eldest children, Sydney and Alexandra, graduate from San Diego State in May, and his youngest, Elise, is 10, Robby fit the bill.
On Friday, Robby initially thought playing for his dad would be weird, but he said it hasn't been.
"I started to think about that a little bit before I came and before we actually started practicing, but really it's nothing I didn't expect it to be," Robby said. "I've seen the coaching side of him and he's my dad. It's like, 'Leave it on the field.' It's been fun. It's not been weird at all."
Bobby, on the other hand, isn't quite sure what to expect.
"I've never done this before so I don't know how it's going to go," Bobby said.
"I'm sure it'll be really great some days and pretty much the other side of the coin some days too. It's been fun so far."
Bobby added that he's been focused on other areas of the team through these two weeks of spring ball so he hasn't been solely following his son's progress, but he thought Robby has started to pick up the defense, despite still having a long way to go.
Shann Schillinger, UM's safeties coach, enjoys having Robby in his room, especially because the two have known each other since Schillinger was in high school.
"He's a coachable kid who's eager, asks great questions, comes out every day and loves to play football. As a coach you can't ask for anything more than that," Schillinger said.
Even though Schillinger has only coached Robby for a short time, the former UM safety knew what he was getting in terms of toughness.
While Schillinger was still in college, he remembers watching Robby play in a football game in either 2008 or 2009.
"It was cold out," Schillinger said. "... Everyone's out there in sleeves and sweatshirts and Robby was out there (without warm clothes) because that's what the Grizzlies did. They didn't wear long sleeves or tights. At that point in time, I knew the kid was going to be tough and be a football player."
Robby remembers watching Schillinger too, saying that the two would high five after practice or that he'd sit on his now-coach's knee and watch practice with him.
"To have him be my coach now, it's pretty special," Robby said of Schillinger. "I don't think anybody really gets to experience that. It's been awesome. He's a great coach."
Even though Robby's on campus, in classes and participating in practices, it's not known yet if he'll be able to play next season.
Traditionally, if someone transfers to a school that's in the same conference as their former school, they have to sit out a year and lose a year of eligibility.
Because of the unusual circumstances, Montana is appealing that NCAA rule.
Bobby said he's not sure where the appeal is in the process, but he's not overly concerned about it right now.
"We're so far from September and August, it hasn't really been a major priority to try to push or readdress. We'll just go through spring ball and we'll figure it out," Bobby said.
Regardless of what happens, Robby said he's just glad to be back in Missoula.
"Whatever happens, happens and I'm just happy to be here," Robby said. "I'm in full support of this team. Whether I play in the fall or not, I'll be happy to be here."
NOTES: Through two weeks of practice, Bobby said practices have been up and down, adding that's how spring ball generally goes.
"Wednesday wasn't very good, today was pretty good," Bobby said. "We just gotta keep working, keep making improvements. We have a long way to go. We need every day this spring and we have a lot of work to do."
Friday's practice was the last practice inside Washington-Grizzly Stadium until the spring game. Practices from here on out will be at the River Bowl.