By JOEL CARLSON
Tyrone Holmes, of the Montana football team, and McCalle Feller, of the Lady Griz basketball team, were named the annual winners of the Department of Athletics’ Grizzly Cup this week.
Holmes becomes the 44th football player to win the Cup, which was first awarded in 1921 to three-sport standout Larry Higbee and has no set criteria other than the requirement that the annual winners excel in all facets of being a student-athlete. Feller is the third women’s basketball player to be honored.
The Grizzly Cup was awarded to a single athlete from 1921 to 1987. Marsha Hamilton, who competed in gymnastics and track and field, was the only female winner during that era, claiming the award in 1977.
No Grizzly Cup was awarded between 1988 and 2008. Since its revival in 2009, the award now goes to one male and one female student-athlete.
Holmes, of Eagle Point, Ore., was a starter at defensive end for Montana since the first game of his sophomore year, but it was his fourth-year tour de force that is worthy of its own page in the Griz history book.
Honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference as a sophomore and junior, Holmes exploded as a senior, recording a nation-leading 18 sacks. He was named to four all-America teams at season’s end and capped his career by being named the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year.
He finished his career ranked second in program history with 34.5 sacks and 49.5 tackles for loss.
A four-time Academic All-Big Sky Conference selection as a marketing major, Holmes was named earlier this year to the National Football Foundation’s Hampshire Honor Society. He was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars last month in the sixth round of the NFL draft.
Feller, who joined the Montana women’s basketball team as a non-scholarship walk-on in 2012-13, had a career trajectory that was even more ascendant than Holmes’.
After scoring just eight points as a true freshman, she earned a scholarship and was voted her team’s Grace Geil Most Improved Player as both a sophomore and junior while working herself into one of the Big Sky’s top players as a senior.
Honorable mention All-Big Sky as a junior, Feller averaged 16.7 points as a senior and knocked down 75 3-pointers last season, the most in program history, on her way to second-team all-league honors.
Despite scoring just eight points her first year, Feller, who was on teams that won 91 games in four years, became the 33rd player in program history to reach 1,000 for her career.
A journalism major from Lewistown, Mont., Feller was a four-time Academic All-Big Sky Conference selection.
Grizzly Cup winners
1921 Larry Higbee (football/basketball/baseball)
1922 Gil Porter (football/basketball/track)
1923 Gil Porter (football/basketball/baseball/track)
1924 Angus “Cammie” Meagher (football/baseball)
1925 Russ Sweet (football/basketball/track)
1926 Ted “Chief” Illman (football/basketball/baseball)
1927 Clarence Coyle (football/basketball/track)
1928 Ed Chinske (football/basketball/baseball)
1929 Tom Davis (football/track)
1930 Ray Lewis (football)
1931 Glenn Lockwood (basketball/track)
1932 Lowell Dailey (football)
1933 Dale Hinman (football/basketball)
1934 Al Dahlberg (football/basketball/track)
1935 Naseby Rhinehart Sr. (football/basketball/track)
1936 Henry Blastic (football/basketball)
1938 Bill Lazetich (football/basketball/track)
1940 Bob Thornally (football)
1941 Tom O’Donnell (football)
1942 Bill Jones (football/basketball)
1943 Henry Dahmer (football)
1948 Charles “Timer” Moses (basketball)
1949 John Helding (football/basketball/baseball)
1950 Jack O’Loughlin (football/baseball)
1951 Ray Bauer (football)
1952 Robert “Lefty” Byrne (football/basketball/baseball)
1953 Jack Luckman (basketball/track)
1954 Ed Anderson (football/basketball/baseball)
1955 Murdo Campbell (football/baseball)
1956 Dale Shupe (football/track)
1957 Don Williamson (football/baseball)
1958 Naseby Rhinehart Jr. (football/track)
1959 Mike Granbois (track)
1960 Rudy Ruana (skiing)
1961-62 Bob O’Billovich (football/basketball/baseball)
1963 Paul D. Miller (football)
1964 Tim Aldrich (basketball)
1965 William M. Rice (basketball/track)
1966 Gary B. Peck (basketball/baseball)
1967 Greg Hanson (basketball)
1968 Willie Jones (football/track)
1969 Mick Harrington (track)
1970 Roy Robinson (football/track)
1971 Lonzo Lewis (football/basketball)
1972 Steve Okoniewski (football)
1973 Earl Tye (basketball)
1974 Robin Selvig (basketball)
1975 Rock Svennungsen (football)
1976 Dean Erhard (track/cross country)
1977 Marsha Hamilton (gymnastics/track)
1978 Tim Kerr (football)
1979 Ed Cerkovnik (football)
1980 Craig Zanon (basketball)
1981 Rocky Klever (football)
1982 Greg Iseman (football)
1983 Brian Salonen (football)
1984-86 Larry Krystkowiak (basketball)
1987 Scott Zanon (basketball/track/football)
1988-2008 No Grizzly Cup awarded
2009 Jordan Hasquet (basketball) / Jade Roskam (volleyball)
2010 Anthony Johnson (basketball) / Lauren Beck (basketball)
2011 Erik Stoll (football) / Jaimie Thibeault (volleyball)
2012 Bryan Waldhauser (football) / Katrina Drennen (cross country/track)
2013 Mathias Ward (basketball) / Olivia Weber (golf)
2014 Brock Coyle (football) / Jordan Sullivan (basketball)
2015 Jordan Gregory (basketball) / Brooke Moody (soccer)
2016 Tyrone Holmes (football) / McCalle Feller (basketball)