The Montana Lady Griz basketball team is like a family to so many of their adoring fans.

So, it's time to welcome a couple new family members to the staff. After a thoughtful, thorough search, Montana has hired a replacement for departed assistant coach Jordan Sullivan (University of Utah), who brought so much to the Lady Griz, both as a player and an assistant coach.

University of Montana Women's Sports Information Director Joel Carlson tells us today (Wednesday) that Lady Griz head coach Brian Holsinger has selected Lisa O'Meara, who most recent college coaching stint was as an assistant coach at Saint Mary's, as the right fit to join his resurrected program. And the Lady Griz also announced that Haley Simental is the program's new director of operations. That position was unfilled last season.

Coach Holsinger has know O'meara for a number of years, as her roots trace back to Oregon. The coach put in a very successful run as an assistant at Oregon State prior to accepting the Lady Griz head coaching job in 2021.

But she was out of the coaching ranks for a couple of years, working with an organization called PGC Basketball Camps, an organization that describes its mission as "helping develop high school coaches and players through clinics and camps."

So, if you find a coach you want, what difference does it make if she's in Ireland at the time? According to Joel Carlson, that's where Lisa and her husband were this summer, visiting family, when Coach Holsinger made the call to get the basketball rolling. From there it was a visit to Missoula, and we all know that's a pretty easy sell once the person you want arrives and gets the sneakers charmed off of them.

As Director of Basketball Operations, Haley Simental will take a lot of the public relations and behind-the-scenes team organization responsibilities off the shoulders of the coaching staff, who had to take on those responsibilities in the absence of someone in that position. That includes important duties such as organizing Hoop Club activities and the team's travel arrangements.

We welcome them both to the family, and wish them all the best.

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