The Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame will recognize the University of Montana Western at its annual awards banquet Jan. 31 in Billings, Mont. (read more)
As has been the case for most of Coach Steve Keller’s eight year tenure, the University of Montana Western men’s basketball team trekked north to find the MSU-Northern Lights ready to play the spoiler. The Bulldogs suffered their first conference light and saw their 13 game win streak end in a 68-56 loss to the Lights. (read more)
University of Montana Western head football coach BJ Robertson has announced the addition of Terry Thomas to the Bulldog coaching staff. (read more)
Montana Western rodeo was represented by 14 current and former athletes at the Montana PRCA Pro Rodeo Circuit Finals held in Great Falls, Mont. Jan 16-18, 2015. (read more)
Bulldog women add Utah basketball standout
Last season, Bookout was selected her basketball team’s captain and was recognized as an all-state performer. Bookout averaged 14 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one block per game as a junior. This summer Bookout’s team claimed a national championship at the AAU USA Jam On It Tournament.
“Brandy brings good size and athleticism to our perimeter group. She attacks the rim well in transition and is a capable perimeter shooter,” Woolley said. “Brandy is an extremely hard worker and we think she has a bright future in the Bulldog family.”
As a track and field athlete, Bookout was a member of two relay teams that medaled at the Utah state meet. She has also competed in varsity swim and dive and has earned honor roll recognition for her work in the classroom. Bookout is the daughter of Mike and Laura Bookout and plans to pursue a degree in Business Administration at Montana Western.
Montana Western rodeo to be honored by Montana Pro Rodeo
Montana Western and Montana State University will be featured for their continued success within the Big Sky Region and nationally. Coach Iola “Olie” Else will be recognized at the event and will be accompanied by a number of Bulldog rodeo national champions. Montana Western rodeo has produced 11 national champions and in 2004 Else was recognized as National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Coach of the Year. Additionally, two Montana Western rodeo athletes have served as student president of the NIRA.
The annual awards slate will feature a number of honorees with Montana Western ties. The Lifetime Achievement award will be presented to the family of the late Benny Reynolds, of Twin Bridges, Mont., who won 1958 Rookie of the Year and 1961 All-Around buckles from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Reynold’s daughter Jenny Peterson competed in volleyball and basketball at Montana Western and her husband Jesse Peterson won a steer wrestling national championship for the Bulldogs.
Shawn Davis, a Montana Western graduate and Butte, Mont. native, will be recognized with a Legend award. As a collegian Davis was a three time national champion with wins in saddle bronc, bareback and all-around. After graduating, Davis won three saddle bronc world championships, and has served as manager of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo since 1986.
The Garrison Family of Glen, Mont. will receive Western Heritage recognition during the ceremony. Tim Garrison won the 1989 steer wrestling national championship for Montana Western, where he competed alongside his brothers Jim and Todd. Todd his wife Latresha, also an alum, are parents of current Bulldog rodeo athlete Holden Garrison.
Montana Western volleyball inks Belgrade hitter
As an outside hitter at Belgrade High School, McCree lead the conference in kills with 281 while hitting .326 for the season. McCree contributed from the back row as well, recording 191 digs and 31 aces as Belgrade claimed the 2014 Montana Class A state title. She was named first team all-conference and earned team MVP honors as a senior.
During the 2013 season, McCree earned all-state honors and a state championship playing at Firth High School in Idaho.
"Like a lot of the other players in the incoming class, Kylie has championship experience that has prepared her well to compete at the college level,” coach Griffiths said.
McCree, the daughter of Heidi and Jason McCree, will major in elementary education at Montana Western. An academic all-state and honor roll student, McCree has maintained a 3.5 GPA.
"Kylie is the type of person, student and athlete that we want to add to the Bulldog family. She is a hard worker, a talented outside hitter, and a good student. She will fit in well and help fill the spots left by our senior class,” Griffiths said.
“I chose Montana Western because it offers the academic programs I want, and I found the coaching staff and team to be supportive and very friendly,” said McCree of her decision.
Bulldogs fall to Argos on the roadThe Bulldogs’ Quinn Smith scored the first six points for Montana Western as it built an eight point lead in the game’s opening minutes. The Argos chipped away at the lead earning a tie halfway through the period. Great Falls built a seven point lead but the Bulldogs knotted the game at 41 as the first period ended.
In the second half the Argos used accurate shooting and strong rebounding to build a 15 point lead with 10 minutes remaining. The Bulldogs then began to chip away at the game, putting themselves within striking distance in the closing minutes. Senior guard Stephen McCall hit back to back three point baskets to cut the lead to two points with 15 seconds remaining, but his third attempt fell short and the Argos hit free throws to close out the win.
Junior Dexter Williams Jr. lead the Bulldogs with 18 points and eight rebounds. McCall also had 18 points in the game, and Smith finished with 13. The Bulldogs were outrebounded 23-33 and could do little to combat the Argo's 42.86 percent accuracy from beyond the arc.
The Bulldogs fall to 3-2 in the Frontier Conference, but return to Straugh Gymnasium where they are undefeated this season for home games against Lewis-Clark State and Montana Tech next week.
Bulldogs see early lead slip away against Argos
Both teams entered the game looking to bounce back from losses to top 10 ranked teams on Friday night, Montana Western to MSU-Northern and Great Falls to Westminster. In the first half the Bulldogs jumped out to a quick lead behind a balanced offensive attack. The Argos battled back and claimed a six point lead at halftime.
The Bulldogs started quickly again in the second half and drew within one point of the Argos two minutes into the period. Jenna Banks and Sierra Higheagle continued to pace the Bulldogs finishing with 17 and 16 points respectively. The Argos were able to withstand the charge and pulled away a number of times in the period behind the 20 points of Lindsay Abramson. The Bulldogs continued to battle and closed the gap a few more times, but the Argos were able to extend the lead to eight to end the game. Statistics were nearly identical with Montana Western holding an edge in field goal percentage, rebounds and points in the paint. The difference for the Argos proved to be free throw shooting, second chance points and turnovers.
The Bulldogs, now 0-5 in conference, return to Straugh Gymnasium next week for home games against Lewis-Clark State and Montana Tech.
Bulldogs' streak ends at MSU-Northern
The Bulldogs entered the contest 3-0 in the Frontier Conference while the Lights were 0-4, but the history between these teams suggested that the win was anything but guaranteed to Montana Western. The first half started as a battle between the teams in which the stats were nearly identical except for shooting percentage. Northern shot 57 percent from beyond the arc to knock down eight treys and went 7-7 from the stripe to build a 13-point lead at the intermission. Montana Western was slowed by a 29 percent effort from the floor and 75 percent accuracy from the free throw line in the first period.
The Bulldogs roared back into the game with a 10-0 run to start the second half, but could get no closer as Northern drained back-to-back threes and never looked back. The Lights’ offensive efficiency continued in the second period as Northern shot 44.2 percent in the game, added five more three point baskets, and didn’t miss a free throw until less than two minutes remained, finishing 17-18 from the stripe. Montana Western managed just 26.7 percent shooting from long range, 42.9 percent from the floor, and 55.6 percent from the line. Just two Bulldogs contributed double digits points, Dexter Williams, Jr with 19 and Stephen McCall with 15.
The Bulldog road trip concludes Saturday with a stop at the University of Great Falls where the teams will battle for the lead in the Frontier Conference.
Montana Western falls to MSU-Northern on the road
Montana Western continued to rely on a stingy defense to combat the height of 6 foot 5 MSU-Northern center Ajha Edwards who was fresh off consecutive week NAIA national player of the week honors. Through the first half the scheme worked as the Bulldogs trailed by just eight at the half after negating Edward’s impact on the offensive end. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs the Skylights was ready to demonstrate their depth. “They are really good,” Montana Western head coach Lindsay Woolley said. “We probably focused too much on the big kid and their other players made us pay.” Northern’s Natalee Faupel accounted for 13 of the first 17 Skylight points on her way to a perfect 4-4 effort from three.
In the second half the Skylights continued to distribute the ball and the Bulldogs offense stalled. “We couldn’t get anything done offensively and a large reason was their defense, said Woolley. Montana Western was lead by Melody McCloud with eight points and three rebounds, and Kaci Matthies who tallied six points and five rebounds.
The Bulldogs wrap of a weekend road trip tomorrow night at the University of Great Falls where they will face the first ever NAIA top 25 team for the Argos.
Montana Western hosts alumni events
This is the first installation of the alumni association’s monthly after-hours event for alumni and friends. The last Friday of every month will provide an opportunity for alumni and friends of Montana Western to gather for socializing and networking. For this first event, attendees are encouraged to bring an appetizer or snack to share with the group.
The following evening, Jan. 31, the alumni association is hosting “Alumni Night” during the Montana Western versus Montana Tech men’s and women’s basketball games. Alumni and friends are invited to join the alumni association in the Keltz Arena on the UMW campus from 4:30-9 p.m. for appetizers and a no-host bar.
Alumni who register with the alumni association that evening will receive a complimentary admission ticket to watch the Bulldogs take on the Orediggers. Recognition of alumni will take place during the basketball games.
Retired Dillon Beaver head coach to join Montana Western staff“We are excited to add Coach Thomas to our staff,” Robertson said, adding that Thomas will coach the quarterbacks and serve as pass game coordinator. “He brings a wealth of football knowledge and success, which will not only help our players but also our coaches and myself.”
Thomas was most recently the very successful head coach of the Beaverhead County High School Beavers before retiring in 2013. During his 27-year career, Thomas had a record of 211-76 as head coach and five state championships. He was named Montana Coaches Association Coach of the year five times and was nominated 11 times.
After his retirement from the head coach position at BCHS, Thomas was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2013.
A Great Falls native, Thomas began his collegiate football career at Portland State University before lettering for three years, 1977-1980, at the University of Montana as a defensive back, punter, and kicker.
After earning his education degree at UM, Thomas served as a head coach for four years at Wolf Point High School in Wolf Point, Mont., before moving to Dillon, Mont., where he still teaches computer and physical education courses.
Thomas was selected to serve as head coach in the Montana Shrine All-Star Football Game three times and served as an assistant two years. Thomas also served as head coach in the Montana-North Dakota All-Star Game once and worked as an assistant coach in the game twice. In 2007, Thomas was inducted into the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Thomas has served as head coach for BCHS boys’ basketball program since 2005, winning three state titles and earning the distinction of being the only Montana head coach to win basketball and football championships in the same school year, having done it twice, in 2006-2007 and 2011-2012.
Thomas and his wife Wendie are the parents of three BCHS graduates, daughter Whitney and sons Tyler and Torrey, who started together in the defensive secondary at the University of Montana in 2005 and 2006. Thomas will continue his teaching and basketball coaching duties at BCHS.
“I appreciate his belief in our program and willingness to commit to the Bulldog football family,” said Robertson.
Montana Western rodeo well represented at Circuit Finals
In the Bareback riding UMW alum Chase Erickson placed in all three rounds to win the average and qualify for a trip to the Dodge National Circuit Finals rodeo (DNCF). Erickson had entered the weekend in sixth place in the standings, but moved into second place to finish the year. Current student J2 Bridges placed in the first round and scored qualified rides all three nights. Alumnus Tucker Zingg also covered all three head at the finals.
In the Team Roping, Western graduate and 1989 CNFR steer wrestling national champion, Tim Garrison and his partner placed fourth in the first round after entering the rodeo in the 12th position.
Six Bulldogs competed in the steer wrestling event at the finals. Current Montana Western student Newt Novich placed fourth in the final round of the weekend and was joined by UMW alumni Dan Mulkey, Reef Mills, Shawn Downing, Bridger Chambers and Luke Gee. Downing, Chambers, and Gee also placed in rounds at the finals.
Shane Moran, a 2000 graduate represented Western the Saddle Bronc competition, placing fourth in the first round.
Bulldog alum Ryan Siemsen finished fourth in the first round of Tie Down Roping and just out of the money at fifth on the second evening.
Helena cowgirl Cally Goyins was the lone woman to represent Montana Western in the Barrel Racing. Goyins entered the weekend in fifth place after the 2014 season and finished the weekend with two strong runs.
Luke Gee and Ryan O'Masters competed in the Bull Riding. Gee was one of only three cowboys with two qualified rides on the weekend, finishing second in the average and number one in the year end standings. Gee earned a trip to the DNCF in the Bull Riding as well as the All Around.