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Montana Grizzlies football

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Montana Grizzlies football
2024 Montana Grizzlies football team
First season1897; 127 years ago
Athletic directorKent Haslam
Head coachBobby Hauck
13th season, 128–36 (.780)
StadiumWashington–Grizzly Stadium
(capacity: 25,203)
FieldJohn Hoyt Field
Year built1986 (1986)
Field surfaceFieldTurf
LocationMissoula, Montana
ConferenceBig Sky Conference
Past conferencesIndependent (1962)
Mountain States (1951–1961)
Independent (1950)
Pacific Coast (1924–1949)
Independent (1897–1923)
All-time record637–515–26 (.552)
Bowl record0–4 (.000)
Claimed national titlesDiv. I FCS: 2 (1995, 2001)
Conference titles19
RivalriesMontana State (rivalry)
Eastern Washington (rivalry)
Idaho (rivalry)
Current uniform
ColorsMaroon and silver[1]

The Montana Grizzlies football (commonly referred to as the "Griz") program represents the University of Montana in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) of college football. The Grizzlies have competed in the Big Sky Conference since 1963, where it is a founding member. They play their home games on campus in Missoula at Washington–Grizzly Stadium, where they had an average attendance of 26,978 in 2023.[2][failed verification]

The Grizzlies had streak of 25 consecutive winning seasons from 1986 to 2011, and this included runs to the NCAA FCS (formerly Division I-AA) championship seven times. As of completion of the 2023 season, the 2012 season is the Montana Grizzlies' only losing season in the past 37 years. The Grizzlies play in Washington-Grizzly Stadium known as the Mecca of the FCS. It is known for its relentless crowd noise and intense passion of its fans. They have a winning percentage of .890 which includes the playoffs. In stadium journey magazine Washington Grizzly stadium was ranked #1 in all of the FCS for football game day experience and # 7 th against all college football including FBS schools. They hold the records for most playoff appearances in a row (17), Big Sky Conference titles in a row (12), and overall playoff appearances (19). Their success made them the most successful program in all of college football in the 2000s (119 wins) and third most successful team in FCS in the 1990s (93 wins).[3][4] On September 4, 2021, Montana upset the #20 (FBS) Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington.


Early years (1897–1934)[edit]

The University of Montana's first football season was in 1897, when the team played six games; they won a single game, against future rival Montana State. The team played only schools from Montana until it helped found the Northwest Intercollegiate Athletic Association (NWIAA) in 1902. In addition to Montana, this original Northwest Conference included Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Idaho, and Whitman College. Despite the association's stated goal of increasing intercollegiate athletics, Montana continued to play only the nearest teams. Unfortunately, the team would not win a game against a Northwest Conference opponent until a 10-0 win over Washington State in 1914.

In 1915, the Northwest Conference had become superfluous with the creation of the Pacific Coast Conference, which by 1924 already included the five public Northwest Conference schools from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, in addition to California and Stanford. Montana joined the conference in 1924 and remained there through the 1949 season. Montana won only nine conferences games (8–16 against rival Idaho), and never played a home game against a team from the state of California.[5]

No team was organized in 1918, due to World War I and the 1918 flu pandemic.[6]

Doug Fessenden era (1935–1948)[edit]

(46–40–4) Record, (9–1) vs. Cats
Doug Fessenden was the first Montana coach to last more than five years, and of those who coached more than two years, he was the first to end his career with a winning record.

The program was on hiatus for the 1943 and 1944 seasons, due to World War II.[7][8] Of the six teams in the northern division of the PCC, only Washington continued through the war.[9]

Mountain States (Skyline) Conference era (1951–1961)[edit]

In 1948, the Montana board of education announced that it was de-emphasizing athletics at the state university. Key to the university's decision was the feeling that continued affiliation with the PCC was incompatible with the goal to "keep intercollegiate athletics properly subordinated to the academic function" and they would "seek to develop competition in all sports with institutions similar in purpose, size, resources and academic standing." The conference was only "preferable to having no conference affiliation."[10]

In 1951, Montana joined the Mountain States Conference, popularly known as the Skyline Conference, and competed there until the conference dissolved in the summer of 1962. The Grizzlies never had a winning season in the Skyline and never won more than three games until 1960. In 1963, Montana joined Gonzaga, Idaho, Idaho State, Weber State, and Montana State in forming the Big Sky Conference.[11][12] (Gonzaga dropped its football program after 1941 and Idaho did not compete in conference play until 1965.)

Jack Swarthout era (1967–1975)[edit]

(51–41–1) Record, (3–6) vs. Cats
Montana's football struggles continued in the new Big Sky Conference, and the team had only won nine games in its first four seasons when school officials decided that a coaching change was needed. Following a 1–9 season in 1966, University of Montana president Robert T. Pantzer announced in December the hiring of Jack Swarthout, a former quarterback/halfback/end from Montana. Swarthout brought on Jack Elway as an assistant and they improved the team immediately to 7–3 in their first season. Within two years, Swarthout guided the team to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons in 1969 and 1970, and Montana's first Big Sky Conference titles. At the end of both years, they were defeated by North Dakota State in the Camellia Bowl, which was part of a set of bowls that determined the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision national championship, prior to the current FCS playoff structure.

Continued success was expected, but a disappointing season in 1971 was followed by a work-study scandal that eventually led to Swarthout's resignation. In 1972, a federal grand jury returned a 32-count indictment charging five university officials and coaches (including Swarthout) with conspiring to illegally use federal-aid money to pay for fictitious jobs for athletes.[13] Though Swarthout was found not guilty, the charges hurt recruiting and the student-body government decided to withdraw financial support for athletic programs.[14][15] Despite the controversy and resultant performance decline, Swarthout is credited as being the coach that turned Montana into a winning football program.[16]

Don Read era (1986–1995)[edit]

(85–36) Record, (10–0) vs. Cats
After Swarthout's departure, Montana would register only one winning season over the next 10 years. In November 1985, Montana fired coach Larry Donovan and replaced him with Portland State's head coach, Don Read. Over the next 10 years, Montana would go 85-36, have 10 straight winning seasons, and was undefeated against cross-state rival Montana State. Read would win 2 conference titles, make the FCS playoffs 5 times and win Montana's first national championship.

Mick Dennehy era (1996–1999)[edit]

(39–12) record, (4–0) vs. Cats
Mick Dennehy had been the offensive coordinator under Don Read and was promoted to head coach when Read retired in 1995. Dennehy continued Montana's success, making it to the national championship in his first year for a rematch against Marshall University. This time, however, Montana lost 49–29. Montana made the playoffs every year under Dennehy and continued to beat Montana State, but they did not make it past the first round of the playoffs after his first season. After the 1999 season, Dennehy accepted a head coaching position at Utah State.

Joe Glenn era (2000–2002)[edit]

(39–6) Record, (2–1) vs. Cats
The Joe Glenn era began with high hopes for the winner of two Division II championships at the University of Northern Colorado. He did not disappoint, making it to the national championship in his first two seasons, where he won it in his second appearance. Unfortunately, during Glenn's third year, Montana's win streak against Montana State finally came to end at 16 straight games. Glenn left after the 2002 season to pursue the head coaching job at the University of Wyoming.

Bobby Hauck era (2003–2009)[edit]

(80–17) Record, (5–2) vs. Cats
Bobby Hauck began his tenure in 2003, and over the next 7 years would win a share of the Big Sky Conference title every year. His teams made it to the national championship game three times but lost each game including in 2004 (lost to JMU), 2008 (lost to the University of Richmond), and 2009 (lost to Villanova University). After the 2009 season, Hauck left to take the head coaching job at UNLV. He returned as head coach in 2017 after leaving UNLV and being an assistant for San Diego State.

Robin Pflugrad era (2010–2011)[edit]

(13–7) Record, (1–1) vs. Cats
In 2009, Robin Pflugrad returned to Montana to become the wide receivers coach under Bobby Hauck. After that season, Hauck left Montana to become the head coach at UNLV, and Pflugrad was promoted to replace him. Pflugrad said after his hiring that Montana would be "very fast on offense, up-tempo and upbeat." Pflugrad led Montana to a Big Sky Conference title and a national semifinal appearance in 2011, but those were vacated by the NCAA on July 26, 2013 due to infractions which included a nationally publicized rape scandal. Individually, Pflugrad was hit with numerous sanctions by the NCAA for his part in the infractions.

Mick Delaney era (2012–2014)[edit]

(24–14) Record, (2–1) vs. Cats
Mick Delaney was hired July 26, 2012, replacing former head coach Robin Pflugrad. On July 26, 2013, the NCAA found the Montana football program guilty of multiple major infractions and one secondary infraction. None of these infractions occurred while Delaney was the head coach. Delaney retired after three seasons.

Bob Stitt era (2015–2017)[edit]

(21–14) Record, (1–2) vs. Cats
On December 16, 2014, the university announced that Bob Stitt would be replacing former head coach Mick Delaney after he announced his retirement. Bob Stitt started his tenure at Montana with one of the most memorable games in Griz football history with a 38–35 win over the 4-time Defending FCS National Champions North Dakota State thanks to an 80-yard, 1:37 scoring drive to end the game.[17]

Bobby Hauck era, part two (2018–present)[edit]

(25–11) Record, (2–3) vs. Cats
Hauck returned to Montana for the 2018 season. Montana earned its 200th win at home against Sacramento State on September 22, 2018, 41-34.

On September 4, 2021, Montana upset the #20 ranked Washington Huskies. It was their first win against Washington since 1920 and only their second overall win in 20 games against the Huskies. It was also the fifth occasion a FCS team beat a ranked FBS team since the 1978 FBS/FCS split.[18]

Program achievements[edit]

The Grizzlies rank among the all-time playoff appearance leaders, with appearances in 1982, 1988, 1989, and 1993–2009. The Grizzlies had a playoff streak of 17 in a row from 1993–2009, which is a record at the I-AA level, now known as Football Championship Subdivision.[19] The streak came to an end on November 21, 2010 when the Grizzlies were not selected to the FCS playoffs following a loss to in-state rival Montana State.

The Grizzlies won the national championship in 1995 under Don Read when Dave Dickenson led the team to a victory over Marshall University in the national championship game. In 2001, coach Joe Glenn led the Montana Grizzlies to another national championship by defeating Furman University, 13-6.

Conference affiliations[edit]

Montana has competed as both an independent and as a conference member throughout its history.[20]


National championships[edit]

Year Division Coach Record Opponent Result
1995 Division I-AA Don Read 13–2 Marshall W 22–20
2001 Division I-AA Joe Glenn 15–1 Furman W 13–6

Conference championships[edit]

Montana has won 19 conference championships, all in the Big Sky Conference[21]

Year Conference Overall
1969 Big Sky 10–1 4–0 Jack Swarthout
1970 10–1 6–0
1982 6–6 5–2 Larry Donovan
1993 10–2 7–0 Don Read
1995 13–2 6–1
1996 14–1 8–0 Mick Dennehy
1998 8–4 6–2
1999 9–3 7–1
2000 13–2 8–0 Joe Glenn
2001 15–1 7–0
2002 11–3 5–2
2003 9–4 5–2 Bobby Hauck
2004 12–3 6–1
2005 8–4 5–2
2006 12–2 8–0
2007 11–1 8–0
2008 14–2 7–1
2009 14–1 8–0
2023 12–1 7–1

† Co-champions

Head coaches[edit]

Coach Tenure Seasons Record Pct. Conf.
vs. MSU
Fred Smith 1897 1 1–2–3 .417 0 0 0 0 1–0
Sgt. F.B Searight 1898 1 3–2 .600 0 0 0 0 2–0
Guy Cleveland 1899 1 1–2 .333 0 0 0 0 0–2
Frank Bean 1900–1901 2 2–4 .333 0 0 0 0 0–2
Dewitt Peck 1902 1 0–3 .000 0 0 0 0 0–1
Northwest Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1902)
H.B. Conibear 1903–1904 2 5–7 .417 0 0 0 0 1–1
F.W. Schule 1905–1906 2 4–7 .364 0 0 0 0
Albion Findlay 1907 1 4–1–1 .750 0 0 0 0
Roy White 1908–1909 2 7–2–2 .727 0 0 0 0 2–1–1
Robert Cary 1910–1911 2 5–3–1 .611 0 0 0 0 1–0–1
Lt. W.C. Philoon 1912 1 4–3 .571 0 0 0 0 2–0
A.G. Heilman 1913–1914 2 8–4–1 .653 0 0 0 0 3–0
Jerry Nissen 1915–1917 3 7–7–3 .500 0 0 0 0 1–0–1
Bernie Biermann 1919–1921 3 9–9–3 .500 0 0 0 0 2–0–1
Jon Stewart 1922–1923 2 7–8 .467 0 0 0 0 2–0
Pacific Coast Conference (1924–1949)
Earl "Click" Clark 1924–25 2 7–8–1 .469 0 0 0 0 1–0
Frank Millburn 1926–1930 5 18–22–3 .453 0 0 0 0 3–1–1
Bernard "Bunny" Oakes 1931–1934 4 8–22–1 .274 0 0 0 0 3–1
Doug Fessenden 1935–1941/1946–1948 12 46–40–4 .533 0 0 0 0 9–1
Clyde Carpenter 1942 1 0–8 .000 0 0 0 0
George Dahlberg 1945 1 1–4 .200 0 0 0 0
Ted Shipkey 1949–1951 3 12–16 .429 0 0 0 0 3–0
Mountain States Conference (1951–1961)
Eddie Chinske 1952–54 3 8–18–1 .315 0 0 0 0 4–0
Jerry Williams 1955–57 3 6–23 .207 0 0 0 0 1–2
Ray Jenkins 1958–63 6 14–43 .246 0 0 0 0 2–4
Big Sky Conference (1963–present)
Hugh Davidson 1964–1966 3 8–20 .286 0 0 0 0 0–3
Jack Swarthout 1967–1975 9 51–41–1 .554 2 (1969, 1970) 2 (1969, 1970) 0 0 3–6
Gene Carlson 1976–1979 4 16–25 .390 0 0 0 0 1–3
Larry Donovan 1980–1985 6 25–37–1 .404 1 (1982) 0 1 (1982) 0 2–4
Don Read 1986–1995 10 85–36 .702 2 (1993, 1995) 0 5 (1988, 1989, 1993–1995) 1 (1995) 10–0
Mike Dennehy 1996–1999 4 39–12 .765 3 (1996, 1998, 1999) 0 4 (1996–1999) 0 4–0
Joe Glenn 2000–2002 3 39–6 .867 3 (2000–2002) 0 3 (2000–2002) 1 (2001) 2–1
Bobby Hauck 2003–2009 7 80–17 .825 7 (2003–2009) 0 7 (2003–2009) 0 5–2
Robin Pflugrad† 2010–2011 2 18–7
1 (2011) 0 1 (2011) 0 1–1
Mick Delaney 2012–2014 3 24–14 .632 0 0 2 (2013, 2014) 0 2–1
Bob Stitt 2015–2017 3 21–14 .600 0 0 1 (2015) 0 1–2
Bobby Hauck 2018–present 4 25–11 .694 0 0 1 (2019) 0 2–3

† Montana was penalized by the NCAA on July 26, 2013 and forced to vacate its last five wins of the 2011 season. One win was against Montana State. It was also forced to vacate its conference title and appearance in the 2011 FCS playoffs.

Home venues[edit]

The Montana Grizzlies have played their home games in Washington–Grizzly Stadium since its construction in 1986. The stadium has an official capacity of 25,203. However, its record attendance is 26,856 which was set on November 20, 2021 with a 29 to 10 smashing defeat of cross state Rivals Montana state Bobcats. Construction of the stadium closely follows the Grizzlies recent success, and since its construction the Grizzlies have a 218 - 34 record as of 2021 and have gone undefeated 11 times. Stadium journey magazine ranked Washington Grizzly Stadium #1 in the FCS , # 7 in all college football and # 65 in all sports in all countries .

Before Washington-Grizzly Stadium, the Grizzlies played off-campus at "new" Dornblaser Field from 1968 to 1986. Prior to 1968, Montana played on-campus at "old" Dornblaser Field from 1920 to 1967. Both stadiums were named for Paul Dornblaser, the team's captain in 1912, who was killed in World War I. Prior to 1920, Montana played its home games at a field in downtown Missoula, near the former Missoulian newspaper building.


Montana State[edit]

Montana's primary rivalry is the Brawl of the Wild (AKA: The Cat - Griz game) against the Montana State University Bobcats in Bozeman. The game has been played 121 times, and the Griz lead the series, 73-42-5. The Montana Grizzlies won the last game 37-7 on November 18, 2023.

The series has three distinct periods. From 1897 to 1916, the teams didn't belong to a conference, but at times would play twice per year. Early seasons had seven games or less, with one season seeing the Grizzlies play just one game. Four of the five ties in the series came during this era. Montana won 12 games to Montana State's 7.

In 1917, Montana State joined the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). In 1924, Montana joined what is now the Pac-12 Conference when it entered the Pacific Coast Conference. The RMAC included several teams that would become Mountain West Conference members. When MSU joined the RMAC, it included Colorado, Colorado State, Utah, Utah State, and Brigham Young. When UM joined the PCC, it included Stanford, California, UCLA, USC, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, and Idaho. The Bobcats remained in the RMAC through 1956, while the Grizzlies remained in the PCC through 1949. Montana joined the Mountain States Conference from 1951–1961. MSU was independent from 1957–1962 and UM was independent in 1950 and 1962. During this period UM, enjoyed a 30-8-1 edge in Griz-Cat games.[22]

Both schools entered the Big Sky Conference as charter members in 1963, with Montana holding a 42-15-2 series lead. From 1963 to 1985, Montana State enjoyed its most successful period of the Griz - Cat rivalry. MSU won 17 games to just six for UM. Following that, Montana started "The Streak" when it won 16 straight games from 1986 to 2001. Montana holds a 31-28 lead in the series during the Big Sky era.

  • Montana was penalized by the NCAA on July 26, 2013 and forced to vacate its last five wins of the 2011 season. One win was against Montana State.


Montana formerly played a rivalry game against the Idaho Vandals for the Little Brown Stein. The Grizzlies trail in the 84-game series 28-55-2 (.333), but have won the last five meetings (2000–03, 2018). (Idaho moved up to Division I-A (now FBS) in 1996.)

The Montana-Idaho rivalry resumed during the 2018 season when Idaho returned to the Big Sky Conference as a full member. Montana won the game at Idaho, 46-27.[23]

Eastern Washington[edit]

The Grizzlies also have an annual rivalry game in conference with the Eastern Washington Eagles, called the EWU–UM Governors Cup. Montana leads the series 27-16-1. The teams are not scheduled to meet in 2018, ending an annual series that dates from 1982 to 2017.



  • Maroon & Silver       (1893–1967, 1997–present)
  • Copper & Gold         (19681996)

The official school colors of the University of Montana are copper, silver, and gold; these were chosen in recognition of the state's mining history. Contrary to popular perception, these colors have never changed, with the confusion stemming from the university's decision to represent "copper" with either maroon   or "Texas orange"   at various times in its history.

When the university was founded in 1893 and its colors were chosen, a lack of copper dye led the school to use maroon, and occasionally other colors, to represent copper. This had the effect of having the school's athletic teams not always being represented across the board by the same uniform colors. In 1967, head football coach and athletic director Jack Swarthout, who personally preferred the maroon and silver used by the football team, sought to make the schools colors more consistent and held a vote among UM coaches. They selected Texas orange (burnt orange to represent copper) and yellow gold to be used on the school's uniforms and it remained for the next 30 years.

The maroon was brought back in 1993 as part of the university's centennial celebrations and a student survey in 1995 showed support for a return to maroon and silver uniforms. Despite some vocal opposition, by 1997, the colors began to phase into the maroon and silver that are used.[24][25][26]

#37 Jersey[edit]

The #37 Jersey is a tradition that began in 1987 by then-running back Kraig Paulson. The tradition holds that whoever wears the #37 jersey selects an in-state recruit and leading defensive player to wear it next.

Player Pos. Hometown Years with jersey
Kraig Paulson RB Plentywood 1983–1986
Tim Hauck DB Big Timber 1987–1989
Todd Ericson DB Butte 1990–1993
Jason Crebo LB Helena 1994–1997
Andy Petek DE Helena 1998–2000
Ciche Pitcher DE Anaconda 2001–2003
Loren Utterback LB Fort Benton 2004–2007
Carson Bender DT Deer Lodge 2008–2010
Ryan Fetherston DE East Helena 2011
Jordan Tripp LB Missoula 2012–2013
Zack Wagenmann DE Missoula 2014
Caleb Kidder DT Helena 2015–2016
Tucker Schye DE Malta 2017
Jesse Sims DE Stevensville 2018–2019
Jace Lewis LB Townsend 2021
Marcus Welnel LB Helena 2022
Levi Janacaro LB Missoula 2023

Postseason results[edit]

College Division / Division II[edit]

Formerly in the University Division, Montana moved down to the College Division for football in 1963 with the formation of the Big Sky Conference. The College Division concluded the season with four regional bowls, played in December after the final polls were released. The undefeated Grizzlies played in the Camellia Bowl in 1969 and 1970, but lost both to North Dakota State in Sacramento, California.[27][28]

Season Bowl Opponent Result Location Head Coach
1969 Camellia North Dakota State L   3–30 Sacramento, CA Jack Swarthout
1970 Camellia North Dakota State L 16–31 Sacramento, CA

Division II debuted in 1973 and introduced a playoff system; Montana and the Big Sky moved to the new Division I-AA in 1978.

Division I-AA/FCS Playoffs[edit]

The Grizzlies have appeared in the I-AA/FCS playoffs 28 times with a record of 38–25. However, their 2011 appearance has been vacated, reducing their official playoff record to 36–24 in 27 appearances. With seven trips to the title game in fifteen seasons, they were national champions twice (1995, 2001) and runner–up six times (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2023).

Season Round Opponent Result Head Coach
1982 First Round @ Idaho L 3–17 Larry Donovan
1988 First Round @ Idaho L 19–38 Don Read
1989 First Round
Jackson State
Eastern Illinois
@ Georgia Southern
W 48–7
W 25–19
L 15–45
1993 First Round Delaware L 48–49
1994 First Round
Northern Iowa
McNeese State
@ Youngstown State
W 23–10
W 30–28
L 9–28
1995 First Round
Eastern Kentucky
Georgia Southern
Stephen F. Austin
@ Marshall
W 48–0
W 45–0
W 70–14
W 22–20
1996 First Round
Nicholls State
East Tennessee State
Troy State
@ Marshall
W 48–3
W 44–14
W 70–7
L 29–49
Mick Dennehy
1997 First Round @ McNeese State L 14–19
1998 First Round @ Western Illinois L 9–52
1999 First Round Youngstown State L 27–30
2000 First Round
Eastern Illinois
Appalachian State
vs. Georgia Southern
W 45–13
W 34–20
W 19–16 OT
L 25–27
Joe Glenn
2001 First Round
Northwestern State
Sam Houston State
Northern Iowa
vs. Furman
W 28–19
W 49–24
W 38–10
W 13–6
2002 First Round
Northwestern State
@ McNeese State
W 45–14
L 20–24
2003 First Round Western Illinois L 40–43 2OT Bobby Hauck
2004 First Round
Northwestern State
New Hampshire
Sam Houston State
vs. James Madison
W 56–7
W 47–17
W 34–13
L 21–31
2005 First Round Cal Poly L 21–35
2006 First Round
McNeese State
Southern Illinois
W 31–6
W 20–3
L 19–17
2007 First Round Wofford L 22–23
2008 First Round
Texas State
Weber State
@ James Madison
vs. Richmond
W 31–13
W 24–13
W 35–27
L 7–24
2009 First Round
South Dakota State
Stephen F. Austin
Appalachian State
vs. Villanova
W 61–48
W 51–0
W 24–17
L 21–23
2011 Second Round
Central Arkansas
Northern Iowa
@ Sam Houston State
W 41–14
W 48–10
L 28–31
Robin Pflugrad
2013 Second Round Coastal Carolina L 35–42 Mick Delaney
2014 First Round
Second Round
San Diego
@ Eastern Washington
W 52–14
L 20–37
2015 First Round
Second Round
South Dakota State
@ North Dakota State
W 24–17
L 6–37
Bob Stitt
2019 Second Round
Southern Louisiana
@ Weber State
W 73–28
L 10–17
Bobby Hauck
2021 Second Round
Eastern Washington
@ James Madison
W 57–41
L 6–28
2022 First Round
Second Round
Southeast Missouri State
@ North Dakota State
W 34–24
L 26–49
2023 Second Round
North Dakota State
vs. South Dakota State
W 49–19
W 35–28 OT
W 31–29 2OT
L 3–23
Appearance and record vacated


Bill Kelly, QB- 1925 (BEHR 1st team) (College Football Hall of Fame)
Bill Kelly, QB- 1926 (CP-2nd team; RG-2nd team; WE-3rd team ) (College Football Hall of Fame)
Bill Kelly, HB- 1926 (AP-2nd Team [as HB]; BE-3rd team [as HB]) (College Football Hall of Fame)
Stan Renning, G- 1957 (INS-2nd team)
Stan Renning, G- 1958 (AP 3rd team)

College Football Hall of Fame[edit]

College Football Hall of Fame
Name Position Year Inducted Ref
Bernie Bierman Coach 1919-1921 1955 [29]
Bill Kelly Quarterback 1924-1926 1969 [30]

"Wild Bill" Kelly was a masterful open field runner who darted and dodged his way to electrifying gains. During his junior and senior seasons he had five kickoff returns for touchdowns, two on runs of more than 90 yards. In 1971 Kelly was named quarterback for the Shrine Game's College All-Star All-time Team.

Individual awards and honors[edit]

Retired numbers[edit]

Montana Grizzlies retired numbers
No. Player Pos. Tenure Ref.
15 Dave Dickenson QB 1992–1995 [31][32]
22 Terry Dillon HB 1960–1962 [31][33]

National honors—players[edit]

National honors—coaches[edit]

Big Sky Conference honors[edit]


Other awards and honors[edit]

  • Grizzlies quarterback Bob O'Billovich was selected as the Montana Athlete of Decade (1960–1970)[35]

Program alumni who played professionally[edit]

Griz in the Pros
Player Year Team League Round
Steve Sullivan 1922 Evansville Crimson Giants NFL
Ted Illman 1926 Wilson's Wildcats AFL I
"Wild" Bill Kelly 1927 New York Yankees NFL
Len Noyes 1937 Brooklyn Dodgers NFL
Milt Popovich 1937 Chicago Cardinals NFL
Paul Szakash 1937 Detroit Lions NFL 7th
Aldo Forte 1938 Chicago Bears NFL 21st
Bill Lazetich 1938 Cleveland Rams NFL 16th
John Dolan 1941 Buffalo Indians AFL III
Wally Stephens 1947 Calgary Stampeders CFL
Earl Keeley 1958 BC Lions CFL
John Lands 1960 Indianapolis Warriors UFL
Gary Schwertfeger 1961 British Columbia Lions CFL
Bob O'Billovich 1962 Ottawa Rough Riders CFL
Terry Dillon 1963 Minnesota Vikings NFL
Mike Tilleman 1964 Chicago Bears NFL
Bryan Magnuson 1968 Washington Redskins NFL 8th
Maceo Gray 1969 Baltimore Colts NFL
Dave Urie 1969 Houston Oilers AFL IV
Tim Gallagher 1971 Dallas Cowboys NFL
Willie Postler 1972 British Columbia Lions NFL
Steve Okoniewski 1972 Atlanta Falcons NFL
Roy Robinson 1972 Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL
Walt Brett 1975 Atlanta Falcons NFL 4th
Ron Rosenberg 1975 Cincinnati Bengals NFL 13th
Barry Darrow 1974 Cleveland Browns NFL
Greg Harris 1976 New York Jets NFL
Doug Betters 1977 Miami Dolphins NFL
Terry Falcon 1977 New England Patriots NFL
Greg Anderson 1979 Montreal CFL
Tim Hook 1979 Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL
Carm Carteri 1979 Ottawa Rough Riders CFL
Guy Bingham 1980 New York Jets NFL 10th
Pat Curry 1982 Seattle Seahawks NFL
Rocky Klever 1982 New York Jets NFL 9th
Rich Burtness 1982 Dallas Cowboys NFL 12th
Mike Hagen 1982 Seattle Seahawks NFL
Mickey Sutton 1983 Pittsburgh Maulers USFL
Brian Salonen 1984 Dallas Cowboys NFL 10th
Mike Rice 1987 New York Jets NFL 8th
Brent Pease 1987 Minnesota Vikings NFL 11th
Larry Clarkson 1988 San Francisco 49ers NFL 8th
Pat Foster 1988 Los Angeles Rams NFL 9th
Tim Hauck 1989 New England Patriots NFL
Jay Fagan 1989 Washington Redskins NFL
Kirk Scrafford 1989 Cincinnati Bengals NFL
Grady Bennett 1991 British Columbia Lions CFL
Matt Clark 1991 British Columbia Lions CFL
Mike Trevathan 1991 British Columbia Lions CFL
Brad Lebo 1992 Cincinnati Bengals NFL
Sean Dorris 1992 Houston Oilers NFL
Todd Ericson 1994 Indianapolis Colts NFL
Carl Franks 1994 Toronto Argonauts CFL
Scott Gragg 1995 New York Giants NFL 2nd
Scott Gurnsey 1995 Toronto Argonauts CFL
Shalon Baker 1995 British Columbia Lions CFL
Marc Lamb 1995 New York Jets NFL
Keith Burke 1995 Ottawa Rough Riders CFL
Dave Dickenson 1996 Calgary Stampeders CFL
Matt Wells 1996 Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL
Blaine McElmurry 1997 Houston Oilers NFL
Joe Douglass 1997 New York Jets NFL
David Kempfert 1997 Seattle Seahawks NFL
Jeff Zellick 1997 New York Giants NFL
Jason Baker 1998 Jacksonville Jaguars NFL
Jason Crebo 1998 Buffalo Bills NFL
Brian Ah Yat 1999 Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFL
Scott Curry 1999 Green Bay Packers NFL 6th
Kris Heppner 2000 Seattle Seahawks NFL
Rylan Jollymore 2000 AFC Rangers Modling AFL
Dallas Neil 2000 Atlanta Falcons NFL
Jeremy Watkins 2000 New York Giants NFL
Jimmy Farris 2001 San Francisco 49ers NFL
Leif Thorsen 2001 British Columbia Lions CFL 1st
Thatcher Szalay 2002 Cincinnati Bengals NFL
Calvin Coleman 2002 New York Giants NFL
Drew Miller 2002 Detroit Fury Arena
Etu Molden 2002 Chicago Rush Arena
Spencer Frederick 2002 New Orleans Saints NFL
Dylan McFarland 2003 Buffalo Bills NFL 7th
Jon Skinner 2003 San Diego Chargers NFL
Chris Snyder 2003 Detroit Lions NFL
Justin Green 2004 Baltimore Ravens NFL 5th
Andy Petek 2004 Hamilton Tiger-Cats CFL
Cory Procter 2005 Dallas Cowboys NFL
Craig Ochs 2005 San Diego Chargers NFL
Levander Segars 2005 Montreal Alouettes CFL
Willie Walden 2005 Kansas City Chiefs NFL
Trey Young 2005 Calgary Stampeders CFL
Brad Rhoades 2006 Tennessee Titans NFL
Tuff Harris 2007 Miami Dolphins NFL
Josh Swogger 2007 Kansas City Chiefs NFL
Ryan Bagley 2008 Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL
Kroy Biermann 2008 Atlanta Falcons NFL 5th
Cody Balogh 2008 Chicago Bears NFL
Dan Carpenter 2008 Miami Dolphins NFL
Lex Hilliard 2008 Miami Dolphins NFL 6th
Colt Anderson 2009 Minnesota Vikings NFL
Colin Dow 2009 Cincinnati Bengals NFL
Cole Berquist 2009 Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL
J. D. Quinn 2009 Miami Dolphins NFL
Mike Stadnyk 2009 Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL 2nd
Marc Mariani 2010 Tennessee Titans NFL 7th
Shann Schillinger 2010 Atlanta Falcons NFL 6th
Levi Horn 2010 Chicago Bears NFL
Jimmy Wilson 2011 Miami Dolphins NFL 7th
Jabin Sambrano 2011 Indianapolis Colts NFL
Chase Reynolds 2011 Los Angeles Rams NFL
Trumaine Johnson 2012 Los Angeles Rams NFL 3rd
Caleb McSurdy 2012 Dallas Cowboys NFL 7th
Dan Moore 2013 Indianapolis Colts NFL
Dan Kistler 2013 Oakland Raiders NFL
William Poehls 2013 Tennessee Titans NFL
Jordan Tripp 2014 Miami Dolphins NFL 5th
Brock Coyle 2014 Seattle Seahawks NFL
John Kanongata'a 2014 Ottawa Redblacks CFL
Zack Wagenmann 2015 Arizona Cardinals NFL
Travon Van 2015 Ottawa Redblacks CFL
Tyrone Holmes 2016 Jacksonville Jaguars NFL 6th
Dante Olson 2020 Philadelphia Eagles NFL
Dalton Sneed 2020 Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFL

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

Schedule as of January 4, 2021.[36]

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
(Sept. 2nd)
Missouri State
(Aug. 31st)
North Dakota
(Sept. 13th)
Utah Tech
(Sept. 12th)
Utah Tech
(Sept. 18th)
at Utah Tech
(Sept. 9th)
at North Dakota
(Sept. 7th)
Indiana State
(Sept. 20th)
at Missouri State
(Sept. 19th)
Ferris State
(Sept. 16th)
Morehead State
(Sept. 14th)
Western Carolina
(Sept. 21st)


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External links[edit]