You weather watchers have no doubt noticed what promises to be a gorgeous first full weekend of spring, 2022.

If one of your spring fever symptoms is the need to cheer at exciting Montana Grizzly outdoor sporting events, we have a suggestion. Actually we have three suggestions, all bundled into one.

The talented University of Montana Grizzly softball team will begin Big Sky Conference play this Saturday and Sunday, March 26 and 27, hosting the defending conference tournament champion Portland State. Saturday afternoon is a doubleheader, with games scheduled for 1:00 and 3:30. The Griz and Vikings will play a single game on Sunday at noon.

It sounds like a pretty good opponent is coming in. The Vikings opened the season 5-1, including a win over California, and two weekends ago won 6-1 at Oregon State, a team ranked No. 24 in the nation at the time.

So the Griz could use your support! All games are played at the beautiful Grizzly Softball Field in the South Campus Stadium complex. General admission tickets are as low as $9 each, reserved seat tickets as low as $11 each. Tickets are available at the gate and in advance here.

In other Montana Grizzly sports news, belated congratulations and welcome to the newest assistant football coach.  Montana head football coach Bobby Hauck has added another veteran to the staff, with Roger Cooper joining the program as UM's new safeties coach.

Coach Cooper returns to the state of Montana after spending 10 years at Idaho State, where he most recently served as the associate head coach, defensive coordinator, and linebacker coach. During his playing days, he was an All-American linebacker at (gasp!) Montana State. He then began his coaching career at Bozeman High School before serving as a graduate assistant for the Bobcats in 2011.

Coach Cooper says he's excited to stay in the Big Sky Conference and help mentor Montana's league-leading defense, a top-three unit in the FCS against the run that led the nation in defensive touchdowns in 2021. Says the new assistant, "You really have to be a well-rounded coach to defend all the different offenses in our conference. I think this defensive staff does an amazing job of being disruptive. With all the traditions and the rivalries in the Big Sky, it's just really exciting for me to be back here in Montana."

Coach Cooper replaces Griz playing great and former assistant coach Shann Schillinger, who spent the past six seasons as UM’s safeties coach. He accepted a position as a defensive analyst at Mississippi State of the Southeastern Conference, as part of head coach Mike Leach’s staff.

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30 famous people you might not know were college athletes

Stacker dug deep to find 30 celebrities who were previously college athletes. There are musicians, politicians, actors, writers, and reality TV stars. For some, an athletic career was a real, promising possibility that ultimately faded away due to injury or an alternate calling. Others scrapped their way onto a team and simply played for fun and the love of the sport. Read on to find out if your favorite actor, singer, or politician once sported a university jersey.


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