Adam Hiatt concluded his sixth season as head coach of the Montana Tech men’s basketball program this spring.
The 2021-22 season was historic and one for the record books. Coach Hiatt’s Orediggers set school records for most wins in a season (27-7) and most conference wins in a season (13-2). Additionally, the 2021-22 team received the program’s first ever national ranking, finishing the season ranked #14 in the coaches’ poll. For the first time since 1993, the men’s basketball program won the Frontier Conference regular season championship. On February 28, 2022, Montana Tech advanced the Frontier Conference tournament championship game for the first time since 1999. In a game for the ages, the Orediggers prevailed over Carroll College on the road by a score of 62-61 to sweep the Frontier Conference regular and post season championships. For only the 3rd time in program history, Montana Tech men’s basketball advanced to the NAIA National Tournament, earning a #3 seed in the 64-team bracket. On March 11, 2022, the Orediggers won their first national tournament game in school history by defeating MACU (OK) 71-67. A program record 4th consecutive winning season was capped off with several postseason awards. Sindou Diallo was named 2nd Team all-American and 1st Team all-conference. Caleb Bellach was named Honorable Mention all-American, 1st Team all-conference, and Frontier Conference Newcomer of the Year. Taylor England was named all-conference for the 4th consecutive season. Derrius Collins was name Frontier Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Keeley Bake was named Frontier Conference 6th Man of the Year.
Coach Hiatt’s 2020-21 team tied a school record for most conference wins in a season (12-8) and posted their first top 3 Frontier Conference finish in over two decades. For their efforts, Montana Tech hosted another first round playoff game for the second consecutive year, a milestone that had not been accomplished since the 1990s. The program’s home playoff win vs. Rocky Mountain College on February 25, 2021 was the first home postseason victory since 1999. The 2020-21 season also marked the 3rd consecutive winning season for the Orediggers, a feat that had only happened once before (1982-85). Sindou Diallo was named Honorable Mention all-American and 1st Team all-conference. Taylor England was named 2nd Team all-conference.
Hiatt’s 2019-20 Oredigger basketball team beat the University of Montana in Missoula for the first time since 1945, stunning the perennial Big Sky Conference champion, and securing the first NCAA Division I victory in program history. Not to be outdone, the Diggers also defeated the #3 (LC-State), #8 (Carroll College), and #17 (Providence) ranked NAIA teams in the country. The 2019-20 season also saw several milestones, including the most overall wins, the most conference wins, the first conference winning record, the first time beating every conference opponent, and back-to-back winning seasons in over two decades. Coach Hiatt was named the HoopDirt.com NAIA national coach of the week in February 2020, and was a finalist for national coach of the year. Sindou Diallo was named Honorable Mention all-American, 1st Team all-conference, and Frontier Conference Newcomer of the Year. Taylor England was named Honorable Mention all-American, 1st Team all-conference, and Frontier Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Dylan Pannabecker also earned all-conference honors.
On March 23, 2016, Coach Hiatt began the process of building the Montana Tech men’s basketball program into a Frontier Conference and NAIA contender. In his first year at the helm, junior guard Chris O’Neill was named 2nd Team all-conference and Lukas Vining also earned all-conference honors. The 2017-18 Orediggers nearly doubled their overall win share from the previous season and quadrupled their conference win totals, including wins over the #10 (Carroll College) and #19 (LC-State) ranked teams. Chris O’Neill was named Honorable Mention all-American, all-conference, and an NAIA Scholar Athlete. The 2018-19 season was a breakout season. Coach Hiatt’s Orediggers defeated the #23 (Providence) and #7 ranked (Carroll College) teams in the country. On February 27, 2019, the Diggers won their first Frontier Conference postseason game in 20 years by defeating Rocky Mountain College 70-59 on the road. The win secured only the program’s 2nd winning season since the conference expanded in 1999-2000. Taylor England was named Honorable Mention all-American and 2nd Team all-conference. Troy Owens, Jr also earned all-conference honors.
Before Montana Tech, Coach Hiatt was the head coach at former Frontier Conference member Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. While with the Griffins, Hiatt finished fourth all-time in total victories and third in winning percentage. The Griffins continually finished near the top of the Frontier Conference and were regular NAIA National Tournament participants. Over the course of Hiatt’s coaching tenure at Westminster, the Griffins posted an overall record of 151-68 (.690). Hiatt began his coaching career in the WAC at the University of Idaho as an assistant on George Pfeifer’s staff.
As a head coach, Hiatt’s programs have produced 24 All-Conference selections, 11 All-Americans, 66 Academic All-Conference performers, and 30 Daktronic-NAIA Scholar Athletes.
Originally from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Hiatt played two seasons at national junior college, Ricks College, where he was a two-time all-Conference (Region XVIII) performer. He played his final two seasons at Westminster College, earning NAIA all-American honors both seasons, and led the Griffins to two consecutive Frontier Conference championships, two national tournament appearances, including the first win in the program’s history. In 2003-04, he was the Frontier Conference scoring champion (21.9 ppg). Hiatt holds the all-time career scoring and single season scoring records at Westminster. Over the course of his four-year college career, he scored 2,270 points.
Coach Hiatt has been married to his wife Jenica for seventeen years. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Addelei and Clara, and three sons, Jaxon, Reddic, and Mitchell.
Tyler Miller is the program’s lead assistant coach after spending the previous six seasons at NCAA Division I member, University of Central Arkansas of the Southland Conference.
During his time as an assistant coach in Conway, Arkansas, Miller helped lead UCA to their first winning season in over a decade in 2018. He also coached eight all-conference performers, including the conference Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and three all-defensive team honorees.
A native of Chandler, Arizona, Miller was an outstanding high school player at Chandler-Basha High School, where he was a four-time All-Arizona Republic player, before beginning his collegiate career at Western Colorado University in 2009-10. He finished his basketball career at the Montana Western in Dillon. Miller, a three-year starter, helped his team to 67 wins, a conference championship, and two NAIA National Tournaments, including an Elite 8 appearance in 2013. He scored 768 points, grabbed 390 rebounds and dished out 117 assists during his career in the Frontier Conference.
In addition, Miller made the Frontier Conference Academic All-Conference Team all three years and was a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete two times. Miller graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2014 from Montana-Western. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a minor in Computer Information Technologies. Miller earned his master’s degree in Instructional Technologies at University Central Arkansas.