A story decades in the making, featuring hundreds of talented women and one amazing coach, ‘The House that Rob Built’, will have its digital premiere on Tuesday, February 23.

Megan Harrington, senior producer with Family Theater Productions was on the KGVO Talk Back show last week with now retired Lady Griz Head Coach Robin Selvig to talk about the film that was a finalist in the 2020 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

Coach Selvig said the Lady Griz program started small but strong.

“You know, I do think at the University of Montana that we did well early on because I think the Title IX started forcing schools to add scholarships and do things like that and try and equalize it, but I think our university did that because they thought it was the right thing to do,” said Selvig. “Fortunately for me, Montana women's basketball grew rapidly which is a credit to the fine coaching they got in this state, and we were able to start to become a pretty good team with a tremendous nucleus of Montana kids.”

Selvig said there was one particular game when the players, the coaches and fans all came together to realize that a symbiotic relationship had been born.

“We kind of arrived when we hosted the first NCAA game against Oregon State in the early 80s,” he said. “We'd been averaging 600 to 700 fans, because there weren't that many fans following women's basketball. But when the ladies came out of the locker room and there was over 4,000 fans there, just the look on their faces, the feeling that they had, it was, it was a great memory.”

Selvig said the premier game occurred in 1994 when the Lady Griz returned the favor in a home-and-home series and hosted the then number-one ranked Tennessee Volunteers to a packed house of over 8,000 fans.

“We competed well and it was an exciting game,” he said. “The crowd was tremendous. I mean, fantastic, and it was a great experience for the ladies. You know, other than the fact we came out on the short end, but it was one of those, of which there was a few where, you know, the place was packed and it was a big game and it was a close game and just a great basketball game.”

In typical Selvig style, the coach downplayed his impact on his players’ lives, but rather gave them credit for changing his life.

“It's very much a two way street as to who impacted whose lives because they certainly impacted mine in a very positive way,” he said. “We got to share a heck of a journey which was the growth of opportunity for women in sports. It was one ticket from ground zero to where it's gone today, so we share something pretty special.”

The documentary film ‘The House That Rob Built’ will premiere digitally on Tuesday, February 23.


CHECK IT OUT: 100 sports records and the stories behind them


More From Montana Talks