Despite Bitter Ending – Griz Have Two National Award Finalists
Despite the bitter end to the regular season, a 6-5 record and their cross-state rival heading into the FCS Playoffs, the Montana Grizzlies still have much to be proud of.
At a press conference on Monday, Head Coach Bobby Hauck appeared with Junior Linebacker Dante Olson and his son, freshman Robby Hauck are up for national awards.
Olson, the leading tackler in all of college football all season long, finished with 151 total tackles and is the leading candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award which goes to the top defensive player of the year in FCS.
Hauck, a freshman transfer from NAU, is also a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in all of FCS football.
At the press conference, Coach Hauck was pleased with the honors bestowed on his players.
“To have to finalists for player of the year awards, the freshman and the defensive player of the year awards is certainly a great thing for our team,” Hauck said. “It shows these guys had a nice year with help from their teammates. Obviously, you don’t accomplish anything on the football field alone, but it always is a positive when you have people being recognized.”
Olson commented on being a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award.
“That’s awesome, it’s truly and honor,” said Olson who hails from Medford, Oregon. “Like I’ve said before, it’s a blessing from God. I’m taking a few days to reflect on the season and what we accomplished as a group, and then we’ll come back on Monday and we’ll get started gearing up for next season.”
Robby Hauck was grateful to be able to transfer to Montana to play for his father.
“I’ve always said its fun to be playing here,” he said. “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had playing football not just for my Dad but with this group of guys, I feel like I fit in extremely well with this team, and I’m looking forward to the future and getting into the off-season.”
Coach Hauck reflected on what his team needs to improve on for the next season.
“We need to have more killer instinct in the fourth quarter,” he said. “It’s an acquired taste and a developed skill, and we’ll work hard to try to manufacture that throughout the off season as best we can. Part of that is mindset and part is also being physically able.”