Mike Van Diest

Mike Van Diest, pictured in 2018, has been hired as the defensive coordinator at Montana State-Northern. 

HAVRE — Carroll College legend Mike Van Diest has been hired by Montana State-Northern to be the Lights' defensive coordinator, MSUN announced Monday.

"We are talking about a coach who is one of the greatest coaches in NAIA history," Lights head coach Andrew Rolin said in a press release. "He is a legend in the state and across the country. He is bringing his expertise not only defensively but as a head coach and as a leader of young men. I am excited to work with him and learn from him."

Last year, Van Diest came out of retirement to take an assistant coaching job at the University of Mary in North Dakota. It was his first job at a school other than Carroll in two decades. 

Van Diest, a Helena and Wyoming graduate, led the Saints to six NAIA national championships and 14 Frontier Conference titles during his head coaching tenure, which ended in 2018. In addition to Carroll and Mary, he coached at Wyoming, Montana, the UMass Amherst and Northwestern. 

Northern, also a Frontier school, went 0-4 during the spring season. Carroll, which finished 3-1, will host Northern on Oct. 9.

"The more I thought about it the more I was excited about the opportunity,” Van Diest said in the press release. “I want to continue to do what Coach Rolin has set up to do, which is being successful on the field, being successful off the field on the campus and in the Havre community."

 

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