2012 Grizzly Football Awards Banquet on Sunday [AUDIO]
It was a disappointing season for the Montana Grizzly football team in terms of wins and losses, but support is still strong from Griz Nation.
The Grizzlies finished the season 5 and 6 overall and 4 and 5 in the Big Sky Conference, the first losing record suffered by the program for well over 20 years, but, the crowd at the 2012 Grizzly Football Awards Banquet heard that the Griz return 19 starters for next year, and this young team had a great many challenges to overcome before the season even started. With charges of sexual assault, the dismissal of head coach Robin Pflugrad and Athletic Director Jim O'Day, the hiring of a new head coach, Mick Delaney, and continuing investigations by the NCAA, the Department of Justice and Department of Education.
But all that aside, Sunday was a day when players, parents and friends celebrated a season full of highlights at the annual awards banquet at The Doubletree Hotel..
University of Montana President Royce Engstrom said the ROOT Sports broadcast of the Grizzly-Bobcat game on Saturday reached over 70% of their overall audience, which translated into potentially millions of homes.
University of Montana President Royce Engstrom
University of Montana Athletic Director Kent Haslam said the awards banquet is an indicator of the quality of the young men in the football program. He also said there have been no new details released about the various investigations by the NCAA and two federal agencies.
UM Athletic Director Kent Haslam
Head football coach Mick Delaney said he's never been more proud of a group of young men, and says the future is bright for the Grizzlies, as he expects the team to be competing next season for the Big Sky Conference title and the National Championship. He also had words of praise for the 2012 Steve Carlson award winner (MVP) senior running back Peter Nguyen.
UM head coach Mick Delaney
Here are the winners of the 2012 Grizzly Football Team Awards
Terry Dillon Award (Outstanding back or wide receiver) shared by WR Sam Gratton and TE Greg Hardy
Pat Norwood Award (Most Inspirational) DE Josh Harris
Tony Barbour Award (Enthusiasm/Dedication/Commitment) LB Jordan Tripp
Paul Westkamp Award ( Outstanding OL) shared by Danny Kistler, Jr. and Jake Hendricksen
Golden Helmet Award (Hardest Hitter) LB Brock Coyle
Larry Miller Award (Outstanding DL) DE Zach Waggenmann
Special Teams CB Nate Harris
Scout Team Offense QB Brady Gustafsen
Scout Team Defense CB JR Nelson
Steve Carlson Award (MVP) RB Peter Nguyen