Thank you, Jim and Kathy O’Day

This letter to the editor first ran in the September 27, 2012 Missoulian Newspaper and is used with permission of Gary and Judy Hughes

Give credit where credit is due – to Jim and Kathy O’Day, two of the classiest people we have ever known during our 46 years with Grizzly Athletics.

I have listed some of the accomplishments by Jim O’Day during his tenure as University of Montana athletic director – one of the top-intercollegiate athletic programs in NCAA Division I:

• 1991: UM Service Award.

• 1992: Founded the Grizzly Scholarship Association Golden Triangle Chapter. Appointed to the NCAA Division 1 Football Issues Committee, NCAA FCS Playoff Selection Committee; was scheduled to be chair in 2012.

• He is on the board of directors for the Master’s of Education in Intercollegiate Athletics Leadership program, University of Washington.

• 2007: All-American Football Foundation’s General Robert R. Neyland Outstanding Athletics Director Award.

• 2007: UM student-athletes won the first Sterling Savings Bank Presidents Cup for UM; 2008, third; 2009 and 2010, second; and 2012, third.

• Student-athletes gained their highest GPA (3.05) in school history and maintained graduation rates higher than the general UM student population. 2011-12 academic year – 49 seniors with 34 receiving their degree – others will at a later semester.

• BSC Championships: 2006 women’s golf; women’s basketball 2007, 2008 and 2009; men’s basketball 2006 and 2010; Grizzly soccer; and Grizzly football 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011.

• GSA reached the $2 million mark three years in a row, double the amount raised in 2000. Grizzly football grossed $4.2 million from ticket sales.

Jim and Kathy O’Day continue their support of Grizzly Athletics, UM student-athletes, faculty, staff and new Athletic Director Kent Haslam.

When you see Jim, Kathy and their sons around Missoula and Montana, thank them for the past and continued dedication and support of their university.

Judy and Gary Hughes, Missoula