By ERIC TABER
Dave Dickenson, the quarterback who led Montana to its first National Championship and led two Canadian Football League franchises to Grey Cup championships has now taken over as the head coach of the Calgary Stampeders, the place he started his professional career.
In a press conference Tuesday, Dickenson was tabbed to take the reigns of the Stampeders after seven seasons as an assistant in Calgary. He replaces head coach John Hufnagel who moved into an executive role as the team’s General Manager.
Dickenson is only the third Grizzly to become head coach of a professional football team (NFL or CFL), after Bob O’Billovich, who won a Grey Cup as head coach of the Toronto Argonauts in the 80’s, and Marty Mornhinweg, who coached the Detroit Lions in 2001-2002.
Dickenson’s name is the stuff of legend around Montana, and is still firmly etched in the record books at Washington-Grizzly Stadium as well. He is Montana’s all-time leading passer, and one of only two people to have his jersey retired at UM.
After a stellar collegiate career where he earned three Big Sky Conference MVP awards and the Waleter Payton Award for best offensive player in the nation, he went on to a stellar career in the CFL.
Since graduating from Montana in ’95, Dickenson still holds 32 different all-time records in the Grizzly record book.
Dickenson joined the coaching staff in Calgary after a 13-year professional playing career. He spent 11 of his 13 seasons in the Canadian Football League, six of those with the Stampeders (1996-2000 and 2008).
Dickenson’s track record as a four-time Grey Cup champion (three as a player), 13 seasons in the CFL and a recent induction into the 2015 CFL Hall of Fame, will leave the Stamps in experienced and capable hands next season.
In 2014, Dickenson was named the No. 1 Greatest male athlete in Big Sky Conference history.