By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN
It was 25 years ago this week that former University of Miami of Florida Associate Athletic director Kathy Noble accepted the Position of Associate Athletic Director at the University of Montana. Noble would improve the public visibility of UM’s women’s Athletics program. One of Noble’s first actions to improve the image and public perception of women’s athletics was gaining commitments from the UM Pep Band and Grizzly cheerleaders to regularly attend UM womens’ basketball and volleyball games.
Noble spearheaded the effort to get women’s soccer added to UM’s sports. Noble’s talents led her to stints as Big sky Deputy Commissioner, Athletic Director at Lewis-Clark State and as an Associate AD at Georgia Tech. Noble would return to Missoula in 2001 going into private business.
With the success of Peyton Manning and Walter Payton, there have been a lot of kids named Payton/Peyton in recent years. Then there is UM soccer Midfielder Paytyn Wheeler, a sophomore from Kelso Washington. Wheeler made an immediate impact last August in her first collegiate match. Paytyn got the assist on the game-winning overtime goal as UM beat Boise State. Wheeler was an Academic All-Big Sky honoree who is majoring in Biology at UM.
As the 46th Season of Little Griz Football is about to begin its worth reporting another first in the long history of the popular youth football program. New Grizzly offensive Coordinator Timm Rosenbaugh is the first former Little Griz player to hold down one of the Coordinator positions at UM.
With his win last Sunday in the PGA Championship Rory McElroy became the first golfer born in the 1980’s to have won more than 1 major title on the PGA Tour. McElroy won the 2011 U.S. Open crown by a margin similar to his margin Sunday. Jack Nicklaus won when he was 22 years old while McElroy was 23 years at the time of his PGA win.
Chris Walterskirchen has been an observer of Montana sports for nearly half a century. A Kalispell native, Chris has worked in various capacities for professional and college sports organization of at various times: ranging from announcing and statistical work to the concessions and even a stint as a costumed mascot.
Chris has academic degrees in communications and elementary education. His style of sports trivia involves more than just who won and who lost, but also focuses on the obscure or human side of sports. In this blog you will learn things like the Grizzly football team has won 210 games over the 19 seasons since they have had Monte as their mascot or that UNLV is the only school that both the Griz and Lady Griz have both faced in the NCAA basketball tournament
When not following sports Chris enjoys taking care of animals of all kinds (a peacock rescue?) and reading to pre-schoolers.