UM Sports Trivia | April 1

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

Saturday Night saw the end of Missoula’s Joscelyn Tinkle’s college basketball career as her Stanford Cardinal fell to perennial power Georgia. In her four seasons at Palo Alto Tinkle was a part of 137 wins, a national title game appearance and 3 trips to the Final Four. On Sunday another outstanding senior closed out her college career as Brittany Griner and Baylor were upset by Louisville. Griner helped Baylor win 135 games in her 4 seasons in Waco, a national title (2012) and two trips to the Final Four.

After 31 seasons as head of Athletic Training at UM Dennis Murphy has decided to retire at the end of this academic year. The Ronan native began his association with Grizzly Athletics not as a trainer but as the video camera man for Grizzly football and Men’s basketball during the era of Jack Swarthout and Jud Heathcote. Murphy had the unenviable task in 1982 of replacing a legend in the training room when Naseby Rhinehart retired after 47 years on the job.

In February when the Cal Bears beat the UCLA Bruins Mike Montgomery became the winning opposing coach in UCLA history, as his Stanford and Cal teams had claimed 31 wins over the Bruins. After the game, when told of Montgomery’s achievement, then Bruins coach Ben Howland quipped “For Mike this probably makes up for never beating us at Weber State.  Well actually in the three seasons Howland played at Weber State the Cat’s advantage over the Griz was 6 wins to 3, but the Difference in the rivalry was that Weber was 3-0 against Montana in the Big Sky tournament.   Actually the friendship between Howland and Montgomery goes beyond the basketball court. In Howland’s first season as a college head coach (1994-95 at Northern Arizona) team captain and leading scorer for the Jacks Brad Snyder was killed in mid-February. The very first coach Howland heard from was Montgomery who had suffered a similar loss in his first year as Montana head coach when one of his team leaders Allan Nielsen was killed in a construction accident.

On Saturday Drury University from Missouri will face Metro State from Denver in the Division II men’s basketball National Championship. Drury and Metro State have a unique connection that has nothing to do with basketball. David A. Sweet was a student and then a professor at Drury in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. In 1972 Sweet was an administrator in the Minnesota Office of Higher education when he got an offer to help develop curriculum and be the first President of a new college in Denver, Metro State University. Both schools in Saturday’s game have buildings on campus named for Dr. Sweet.

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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.