Melanie Meuchel has been named the new head coach at Montana, the school announced on Monday.
Meuchel, who had been interim head coach following Jamie Pinkerton’s mid-summer departure for Iowa State, was long thought to be the favorite for the position. She spent the past four years as Pinkerton’s first assistant with the Grizzlies, having been hired to the coaching staff during the program’s early developmental stages.
In charge of the Grizzy pitching staff, Meuchel helped lead guide then-freshman Michaela Hood to a team-leading 2.31 ERA in 2017 and 178 in just over 190 innings, en route to first-team all-conference honors and the Big Sky conference tournament's MVP award. Meuchel’s pitching staff posted a 3.09 staff ERA on the year and helped lead the program to its first-ever NCAA tournament berth.
A veteran coach, Meuchel will assume her first-ever full-time head coaching position with the Grizzlies. Her coaching resume also includes a graduate assistantship at Oklahoma and stints as an assistant at McNeese State and Nevada.
Montana finished the 2017 season with a record of 35-24, including a 15-6 conference mark. The Grizzlies went 3-0 in the conference tournament, twice besting host Weber State, and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history.