(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – Michael Bazemore was named the director of athletics at Montana State University Billings, announced chancellor Stefani Hicswa on Thursday.
Bazemore, a native of Philadelphia, will begin his role as athletic director on July 26, and replaces Krista Montague who held the position for nine years before announcing her resignation on March 30.
“I am extremely excited for this opportunity,” said Bazemore. “I want to thank Chancellor Hicswa, the search committee, administration, coaching staff, faculty, and student-athletes for their trust and support. I would also like to thank Krista for her support in my development as an administrator.”
The former director of compliance within MSUB's athletic department, Bazemore spent five years on staff with the Yellowjackets in a variety of roles from 2012-2016.
“Mike’s experience in his previous roles at the NCAA national office and in higher-education athletics is a tremendous benefit to our university and our athletic department,” Hicswa said. “He truly cares about the success of our student-athletes on and off the field and has a great vision for the future direction of Yellowjacket athletics. We are excited to welcome him aboard.”
Bazemore, 38, was the chief rules officer for the athletic department and compliance liaison to the NCAA and GNAC for three years. He previously spent two years as a member of the department's media relations and gameday operations staff and worked directly with Montague.
“I look forward to rejoining the Billings community and being a positive influence for MSUB as well as the entire community,” said Bazemore. “MSUB has a lot of potential for growth and we intend to build and raise our level academically and athletically.”
“I am very excited and so proud to pass the torch to Mike Bazemore,” said Montague. “With his background and experience in various athletic departments and the NCAA, he will be able to hit the ground running right away. Mike is a good person and a great fit for MSUB, and I know he will take this program to new and exciting heights. As member of the community, am I thrilled to be his champion, and will always be a champion of MSUB. I wish Mike all the best as he takes the reins, and wholeheartedly welcome him and his family back to Billings. I will forever be grateful for my time at MSUB, and thank you again to all who supported me over the years.”
Bazemore is currently the assistant director of academic and membership affairs for the NCAA national office in Indianapolis, where he has served since October of 2018. He is responsible for providing NCAA bylaw interpretations for member institutions, processing legislative relief waivers, and is the primary contact for the Division II institutional performance program.
Bazemore had stints at NCAA Division II Truman State University and Metropolitan State University of Denver upon departing MSUB and prior to beginning his current role at the NCAA office. Bazemore earned his master's degree in sport, recreation, and fitness management from MSUB in May of 2014. He completed undergraduate degrees in sociology and interdisciplinary studies in social science from Michigan State University, where he was a four-year letter-winner on the Spartans' football team.
After completing his collegiate career, Bazemore played four seasons from 2007-2010 for the Billings Outlaws professional indoor football team and one season in 2011 for the Sioux Falls Storm. Upon retiring from his playing career, Bazemore continued his involvement with the Billings organization eventually rising to director of player personnel of the Billings Wolves in 2015 and holding the position for two years.