Monte Mascot Mania

Monte – UM’s award winning mascot wins over fans.

More than a university named as one of the nation’s most scenic, The University of Montana has caught the country’s attention  for its reputation of outstanding athletic programs, National Championships, and award-winning coaches.

But did you know that the University of Montana is also home to the two-time National Mascot of the Year as well? Meet Monte – the mascot dubbed by Sports Illustrated as, “a motorcycle-riding, break-dancing bear” who has helped to make Missoula, Montana one of the best football atmospheres in the country.

On a Grizzly Football game-day, more than 25,000 fans fill the seats at Washington Grizzly Stadium to cheer on our boys in maroon and silver. And amid all of the Griz frenzy, Monte grabs center stage and delights fans with his antics and acrobatics.

From storming the field on a Harley Davidson to giving the referees a hard time on questionable calls, the fun of watching Monte perform is alone worth the price of admission. His repertoire includes back flips, goal post smashing, and prank pulling that is just too good to be missed.

Monte mania reached its peak in 2002 when he won the Capital One Mascot Challenge, beating out eleven other mascots from around the country. The winner was chosen by a combination of a panel of judges’ rankings, which considered criteria such as fan interaction, demonstration of good sportsmanship, and community service involvement, and an online popular fan vote. Monte supporters voted in droves, and UM students, fans and alumni rallied to help propel him to the national title. And why stop at one title? Monte once again snagged the honor in 2004.

The tradition of Monte still runs strong at The University of Montana. And while Barry Anderson, the man credited with turning Montana’ s mascot into a phenomenon when he took over in 2001, eventually moved on and became the Benny the Bull mascot for the Chicago Bears, he left behind a strong foundation of well-trained Montes ready to pass the torch on down the line to future mascot champions.

For more information about Monte and to see him in action, visit the Montana Grizzlies website.