UM Sports Trivia

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

The events involving the firing of UM Athletic Director Jim O’Day and football coach Robin Pflugrad were gut-wrenching for all UM fans, but now Griz nation will turn its attention to the future. Interim head coach Mick Delaney would like to duplicate his stint back in 1974 in his first season as head coach of the Great Falls High Bison.

Delaney’s 1974 Bison went undefeated and virtually unchallenged to win the State AA title. The 1975 Bison won their first 3 games to stretch the streak to 14 under Delaney. Delaney spent four seasons at MSU under Sonny Lubick before joining Lubick in Fort Collins for 15 seasons.

One part of Delaney’s resume that differs from most coaches is that he owns and operates a restaurant in Butte. The Italian restaurant was famous for its spaghetti and pizza, many times prepared by master chef Mick Delaney. Delaney’s son Mike came to UM to play football in the late 1980’s but injuries cut short his playing career. Mike Delaney stayed on with Grizzly football as part of the program’s video staff.

It was 20 years ago Tuesday that University of Montana senior forward Shannon Cate was named to the Women’s NCAA first team all-American squad, the first and only player from the Big Sky Conference to be so honored.

Cate had led the Lady Griz to the second round of the NCAA tournament in that 1992 season. One note on the CBS Broadcaster for that Final Four tournament:  Analyst Anne Meyers commented that Cate’s selection surprised her because she didn’t know that UM was a Division I school.

Meyers, came back on air after half time and reported that her brother Dave had called her courtside to emphatically tell her Montana was indeed a D-I school and had been for many years. You see, David Meyers was the top defender and star of the UCLA Bruins in 1975 when the Griz nearly ended John Wooden’s final season abruptly.

No Lady Griz basketball player has played in more UM wins than Lisa McLeod who had a hand in 105 UM wins between 1985-89. On Sunday night in Denver Lisa’s daughter Joslyn Tinkle had the 105th win of her Stanford Career.  Joselyn is in her third season while Lisa’s win total came in 4 years at UM.

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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 costumedmascot.

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.