Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The Big Sky Conference announced on Thursday that the late, great University of Montana Head Coach Don Read will be inducted this summer into the Big Sky Hall of Fame.

I spoke to Eric Taber, Director of Communications for Grizzly Football on Thursday about the announcement.

“If there is a Mount Rushmore for Grizzly Athletics, Don Read would be front and center on that,” began Taber. “To me as a kid who grew up in Missoula, watching Grizzly football my entire life, he really is Grizzly football. “He epitomizes it. I mean, there's a reason people call him Papa Bear, right? What an honor for the university to have him inducted into the Big Sky Conference Hall of Fame. He made such an impact on not only Grizzly football, the University of Montana, but the entire Big Sky Conference.”

Taber also got to know, love, and respect Coach Read.

“He was just an affable, entertaining, and as you said, gracious human being and he also was very smart,” he said. “You know, he literally wrote the book on passing football. He wrote a book on how to have a prolific offensive passing attack, and boy did that pay dividends for the University of Montana with a quarterback like Dave Dickenson who went a long way with their offense.”


Taber said the induction will take place this summer in Spokane.

“The Big Sky Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be part of the Big Sky Football kickoff weekend,” he said. “The gala will be held on July 20 in Spokane at the Northern Quest and it's going to be a great event. Coach Read is one of seven individuals I believe to go into the Big Sky Hall of Fame this year and so all of those individuals will be honored there, and it really is a cool event to help kick off the football season in late July over in Spokane.”

Taber said that Read coached at Montana from 1986 to 1995, amassing an 85-36 record while leading the Griz to 10 straight winning seasons that started a streak of 25 straight at UM. He retired as the winningest coach in Montana history and the second-winningest coach in Big Sky history at the time.

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