CORVALLIS, Ore. – Kurt Paulson, who coached at the University of Montana for three seasons, will join the Oregon State men’s basketball program as the director of basketball operations, Wayne Tinkle announced Monday.
“Kurt is a great young guy,” Tinkle said. “He was my grad assistant at Montana, left to go get some experience at the high school level and then was on my staff full time last year. He’s just a young, energetic, enthusiastic and knowledgeable basketball mind. He is the kind of person everybody in America should have on their staff. There’s no task beneath him and no task above him. He’s just a worker and he’s going to bring a lot to our staff. No matter what we ask him to do, he will be a valuable asset.”
Paulson, 31, worked for Tinkle at Montana as an assistant coach in 2013-14 and as a graduate assistant coach in 2009-10 and 2010-11. He was the head coach at Bigfork High School from 2011-13 and an assistant coach at his alma mater, Carroll College, from 2007-09.
“I’m super loyal to Coach Tinkle. I’m a huge fan of his and how he runs a basketball program,” Paulson said. “I know he is going to get some big-time excitement at Oregon State. I think he was an unbelievable hire by Bob De Carolis, because he’s a perfect guy for this situation and he’ll get tons of support around his program. For me, I’m just thrilled to be here. I love working for Coach Tinkle and I believe in him. I believe in his vision. He has hired me three different times now so I’m super loyal to him and what he’s doing out here. I’m just here to help with the program and very fired up to get hitting on all cylinders and get going with the job.”
A native of Whitefish, Mont., Paulson broke into the Division I ranks when he was hired by Tinkle as a graduate assistant coach in 2009. The Grizzlies advanced to the NCAA Tournament in his first season there and went to the CBI in his second season. He left for two years but was hired back as an assistant coach for the 2013-14 season.
Paulson was the boys’ basketball head coach and activities director at Bigfork High School in between his stops at Montana and led the Vikings to 39 wins in two seasons and to the semifinals of the Class B state tournament in 2013.
He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Carroll in 2007 and helped the team go 43-16 in two seasons and advance to the 2008 NAIA National Tournament.
Paulson, a 2001 graduate of Whitefish High School in Whitefish, Mont., played basketball for five years at Carroll College where he led the Saints to the 2005 NAIA semifinals and 2006 NAIA quarterfinals. He finished third in the nation in assists as a junior and led Carroll to a school-record 30 wins as a senior.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and health and physical education from Carroll in 2006 and a master’s degree in education from Montana in 2011.
Paulson was born on July 16, 1982 in Great Falls, Mont. He is the son of Kent Paulson, the commissioner of the Frontier Conference, and the nephew of Kraig Paulson, who is the assistant head football coach at UNLV.
THE KURT PAULSON FILE
Born: July 16, 1982 (Great Falls, Mont.)
B.A., Business Administration and Health and Physical Education, Carroll College, 2006
M. Ed., Curriculum Studies, Montana, 2011
2007-09 -- Carroll College, Assistant Coach
2009-11 -- University of Montana, Graduate Assistant Coach
2011-13 -- Bigfork High School, Head Coach
2013-14 -- University of Montana, Assistant Coach
2001-06 -- Carroll College