UM Sports Trivia | Week of Dec 15

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

No, Bob Stitt may not have any previous connection to the University of Montana, but Stitt does have something in common with the two men who have led the Montana football team to FCS National titles. Just like Don Read and Joe Glenn, Stitt comes to Missoula after spending several seasons building up a Division II program (Read spent 9 seasons at Portland state and Glenn had been at Northern Colorado for 11 seasons).  Stitt has something in common with former Griz coach Bobby Hauck they were born within a few days of each other back in June of 1964.  Stitt would be the fourth of the last five Griz head coaches to have coached at the collegiant level in Colorado. Joe Glenn (Northern Colorado) Bobby Hauck (University of Colorado) and Mick Delaney (Colorado State).

This is the first time since 2007 that the Big Sky has not been represented in the FCS semi-finals. Montana reached the semi-finals 7 times between 2000 and 2011.

For the second time in Heisman Trophy history a college player from Oregon won the award. Back in 1962 Oregon State quarterback Terry Baker won the Heisman. The first time a Pac-12 player won the Heisman from a school other than USC was Stanford’s Jim Plunkett in 1970.

Of the teams in this weekend’s Lady Griz tournament only Austin Peay is a first time participant, both Utah Valley and St. Louis have previously been in Montana’s tournament. St. Louis faced the Lady Griz in the tournament final in 2001, a game highlighted by a “T” being accessed “Monte” for not getting off the court soon enough after a timeout (in the process he knocked down a St. Louis player).

Picture18In their upcoming three games the Lady Griz will likely face the daughters of three basketball stars. Wednesday in Seattle Montana will face a Seattle University team featuring Cydnee Ceballos the daughter of former Phoenix Suns star Cedric Ceballos. Friday night it will be in a game with Utah Valley who have Jazmin O’Bannon daughter of 1995 Wooden Award winner Ed O’Bannon (who recently won a legal battle with the NCAA). Saturday St. Louis is a likely opponent who is led by Sadie Stiponivich daughter of former NBA No. 2 overall pick SteveStiponovich.

Hard to believe it’s been this long since Mandy Morales, Sonya Rogers and Brittany Lohman lit up Dahlberg Arena. Sunday’s win over Portland was Montana 100th win since that Class of 2009 graduated.

The Coyotes of the University of South Dakota come calling on the Griz on Sunday. Sunday is the 123th anniversary of the invention of the game.

Saturday the College football Bowl Season begins and for the first time a Bowl game will be held in the Bahamas featuring Central Michigan and Western Kentucky. One noteworthy game on Saturday will be UTEP vs. Utah State. The last time the Miners of UTEP won a bowl game was December 30th 1967.

Twenty years ago this week two memorable College basketball games took place at Dahlberg Arena.  The Griz faced NAIA (at the time) Central Washington. A Grizzly team that was destined to win a share of the Big Sky title struggled against the CWU Wildcats, as the buzzer went off it appeared that Central Washington had pulled the upset and then it was discovered that Central Washington was given an extra point on the scoreboard and the game went to overtime with the Griz escaping with a win. Two nights later the Lady Griz had top-ranked Tennessee in the house. Montana held the lead for much of the game but Tennessee’s depth carried them through for a 66-61 win.

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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.