Montana's Robin Selvig retires after 38 years with Lady Griz

MISSOULA, Mont. -- Montana women's basketball coach Robin Selvig announced his retirement Wednesday after 38 years at the school.

Selvig, who turns 64 next month, announced the decision on the university's website, saying he will be at the school until the end of August. The Big Sky Conference school will hold a news conference Thursday.

Selvig was 865-286 at Montana, tied for seventh on the Division I career wins list.

"Over 38 years, there weren't many days I wasn't excited to come to work, but I've started to lose that excitement," Selvig said. "The players have always given me their best. When you wear down a little, you start to wonder: Can I still give them my best? I don't like that question, and I don't like that feeling. I don't like not being fired up for next year. The players deserve me at my best, and I don't know if I have the energy to keep doing it. There are mixed feelings, but I think the time is right."

Selvig built Montana into one of the most consistent mid-major programs in the country, finishing with 36 winning seasons, 31 20-victory seasons, 24 conference championships and 21 NCAA tournament appearances.

The Lady Griz were 20-11 last season.

"We were just talking about him today at the meal room, [DePaul coach and U.S. assistant] Doug Bruno and I," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said Wednesday night in Delaware after coaching the U.S. Olympic team to an exhibition victory over France. "Coaches that have been in the game a long time and aren't in the women's basketball Hall of Fame that are still coaching, he's definitely one of them. He did it in a place that not too many people out in the media are paying attention. He's had as great a career as you can without winning a national championship that you can want to have as a coach."

Before becoming a coach, Selvig was a star player for Montana, playing his final three seasons under coach Jud Heathcote. Selvig was honored as the conference coach of the year 21 times.

"I've been extremely fortunate to experience the things I have with the people I have. I've been blessed," Selvig said in the school's release. "Your lives become intertwined, and that's what makes it a family. You're invested not only in coaching them, you're invested in them when lots of things are going on in their lives. Those relationships are as special to me as anything.

"What we shared will never change or be taken away from us. Sharing young women's lives for four or five years, that's where the rewards come from. I've been lucky I got to share that with them. It's been special."