Montana State athletics unveils Phase 1 of strategic plan

May 4, 2017 GMT

BOZEMAN — Montana State athletics officials won’t need a road map to find their way through the state on next week’s Bobcat Club outreach trip that kicks off a spring and summer of social events. But a map of a different sort will be present regardless.

“This is a step in the process of mapping our future,” MSU athletic director Leon Costello said of Phase 1 of the athletic department’s new strategic plan, a working document the department is rolling out as the calendar turns to May.

Costello, men’s basketball coach Brian Fish, football coach Jeff Choate, and women’s basketball coach Tricia Binford are among the Bobcats touring eastern Montana and the Hi-Line this montbh. The group hosts functions in Miles City (May 9), Glendive and Plentywood (May 10), Glasgow and Lewistown (May 11) and Shelby (May 12).

The trip marks one year since Costello accepted the position of MSU Director of Athletics, which occurred May 11, 2016. Since arriving in Bozeman in June, he has trained considerable focus and energy on the process of creating this document.

“This is a process that takes time, involves many people, and will be the backbone to our operations for the next four-to-five years,” he said.

Working with CarrSports Associates, Bobcat Athletics has constructed the department’s core values and strategic themes. The process leading to the final strategic plan, completed and publicly available ithis summer, will include a vision statement, a mission statement, and goals and strategies.

It is being created in concert with an athletic facilities master plan, and both are part of the university’s long-range campus development plan.

Among the core values are integrity, excellence, respect and engagement. The strategic themes are centered around student-athlete welfare, competitive excellence, championship-quality facilities and financial responsibility and sustainability.

The specifics of the strategic plan will be centered around this blueprint.

“This process aligns the athletic department with the mission and goals of the university,” Costello said. “That gives us the opportunity to utilize resources and engage our constituents appropriately and efficiently.”

Costello, Binford, Choate and Fish, and Bobcat Club and other department representatives begin their tour of the state with a 5 p.m. reception at the Miles City Club next Tuesday. The group stops for lunch at the Gust Hauf in Glendive on Wednesday at noon before heading to Plentywood for a 7:30 p.m. social at the Gold Dollar Steakhouse that day.

Thursday’s agenda includes an 11:30 luncheon at the Cottonwood Inn and Suites in Glasgow and a 6 p.m. social at The Elk’s/Pine Meadows Country Club in Lewistown. The caravan concludes with a 6 p.m. dinner on Friday in Shelby.

“This is a great way to cap an eventful year,” Costello said of next week’s trip. “I look forward to seeing so many great supporters of the Bobcats and so much of this great state.

“The past year saw great achievements by our coaches and student-athletes, but many great things lie ahead. It’s an exciting time to be a Bobcat.”