Former Griz mentor Joe Glenn to attend 2001 FB team's hall of fame induction

Joe Glenn

Joe Glenn

June 19, 2012

The induction of the 2001 University of Montana football team in mid-September is going to be a very special event slated as that national championship (Division I-AA) football team is inducted into UM's prestigious Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame.

The event is now going to be even more special, as Joe Glenn, the head coach of that record-setting title team, along with his wife Michele, are coming to Missoula to partake in the ceremony.

The induction banquet is slated for Friday, Sept. 14 at the Holiday Inn Downtown at the Park, with a social hour starting at 6:00 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7:00 p.m., followed by the induction ceremony . Players, coaches, as well as athletic trainers attending the function will also be recognized at Washington-Grizzly Stadium at the Montana versus Liberty football game the following day, Sept. 15.

"That group had it all.....however....the character of the leadership stands out to me most of all! (Johnny {Edwards} Montana leading the charge...WOW)," wrote Glenn in a recent email.

"You don't hear this very often, but I would also say that the O-line should go down in history as "THE BEST," said Glenn, now the mentor at his alma mater, the University of South Dakota, the team that Montana hosts on Sept. 1 in its 2012 opener. "It seems like we had the ball all the time and consequently controlled the game! Certainly we had big-play makers, but I've never coached a team that could dominate the line of scrimmage like that - `old school'."

The 2001 Grizzlies were a record-setting group, winning a school-record 15 games en route to a 15-1 season, and also won 14 games in a row in the process, culminating with a dominating 13-6 win over Furman in the Division I-AA (now called the Football Championship Subdivision) championship game.

That team was comprised of Grizzly greats on both sides of the football. A look at the current record book displays many names of the players from that team, as they are listed among the all-time stat leaders in school history.



Senior running back Yohance Humphery was a work-horse for Coach Glenn's Griz that season and set numerous records. "Yo" set standards for rushing attempts (303, since broken), rushing yards (1,658, still the school record) and rushing TDs (17, since broken). Junior quarterback John Edwards threw 13 touchdown passes and also rushed for five scores. Senior wide receiver Etu Molden had 14 touchdown catches, the second most ever (he ranks third now).

The offensive line comprised of guards (senior All-American) Thatcher Szalay and sophomore Derek Decker; junior center Brian Pelc and talented sophomore tackles Dylan McFarland and Jon Skinner - was one of the best in school history. Senior tight ends Spencer Frederick and John Fitzgerald were also key components to that group.

The defense consisted of several standouts as well. Senior safety Vince Huntsberger had a team-high 113 regular-season tackles (playoff stats were not recognized by the NCAA until 2003, which makes the records from this team even more impressive), and he still holds the school standard with 393 career tackles.

Other leaders on defense were senior linebacker Matt Steinau (92 tackles and 12 stops for loss), junior strong safety Trey Young (76 TT, 12 TFLs), cornerback Calvin Coleman, sophomore free safety Dave DeCoite (63 TT), along with sophomore ends Ciche Pitcher (17 TFLs and 11 sacks) and Tim Bush (13 TFLs and 8 sacks).

The special teams on Montana's 2001 national championship team were led by a couple of youngsters, sophomore kicker Chris Snyder and freshman punt returner Levander Segars, although both players had illustrious careers.

Snyder set division career records (all of which have since been broken) with 70 made field goals, 182 made PATs, and he scored 394 points. Segars set Montana and national records with 143 punt returns (still a FCS mark) for 1,441 yards (since broken), and a UM standard with 3 punt returns for TDs (which ties him with Marc Mariani, 3 TDs, 2006-09).

That 2001 football squad will be just the fourth team to join the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame. The other teams now in that elite group are the 1995 football team which won a Division I-AA national title, and the 1969-70 (inducted as one unit) football teams, which both went 10-0 during the regular-season and played for a pair of college division national championships; and the 1974-75 Griz men's basketball team, which won the Big Sky Conference regular-season crown and also won a first-round NCAA Tournament game.

Last year's inductees were former (1986-89) Lady Griz star Lisa (McLeod) Tinkle and football standout Joe Douglass.

Tickets for the banquet will go on sale to the public on Monday, August 6, and will be available at all of UM's normal outlets.

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