MISSOULA, Mont. — Former Southern Utah men's basketball coach Bill Evans has been named an assistant men's basketball coach at the University of Montana, coach Wayne Tinkle said Thursday.

Evans was head coach at Southern Utah for 15 years, through the 2006-07 season.

"I am honored to become a part of a program that has such great tradition," Evans said. "I am also appreciative of coach Tinkle giving me this opportunity."

Evans led the Thunderbirds to their first-ever NCAA tournament berth in 2001, where they fell 67-64 to ninth-ranked Boston College and finished with a 25-6 record.

However, the team struggled after that, posting a 16-14 record during the 2006-07 season. Evans' contract was not renewed. Evans had a 209-223 record at Southern Utah. The 209 wins are the most in school history.

"Bill brings a ton of experience to our program," Tinkle said. "He is an outstanding person with a proven track record with his 15 years as a Division I head coach. As a head coach he graduated his players, brought his team to the NCAA tournament and had a couple of players go on to play in the NBA.

"He brings instant credibility to our staff," Tinkle said. "He has valuable recruiting contacts, which will hopefully open up new geographical recruiting areas for us."

Evans begins his duties at Montana on July 14.