More maroon and silver or copper, silver and gold will always enhance any room's decor.

Whatever school colors they wore during their playing days, three of them had one thing in common. They all thrilled University of Montana football fans at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. And their names live on in Griz lore. They will join a fourth Griz from the 1930s, and all will take their places in the Montana Football Hall of Fame in Billings.

The 2024 inductees were recently announced, and the Montana Grizzlies are well-represented by players who made their marks in the mid-1930s, the late 1980s-early 1990s and the mid-2000s. These were guys who really knew what to do once they got their hands on the ball.


Paul Szakash (died in 1984 at age 71)

It wasn't uncommon for players back then to play both sides of the ball and be involved in virtually every play. But perfect attendance?

Paul Szakash, who attended high school in Chicago, was a fullback and place-kicker for the Grizzlies, and during the 1935 season, played every minute of every game. That kind of physical punishment will catch up to even the most durable players, as he missed the 1936 season after sustaining a ruptured appendix. So, while recovering, he helped coach the freshmen team.


Matt Clark, Missoula

A fearless wide receiver for the Griz (1987-90), that, by his own admission, he never imagined that it would turn out the way it did, the Missoula Hellgate product got another surprise the following year, when he learned he'd drafted by the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. He spent six seasons in the CFL

Marc Mariani, Havre

A walk-on? Fans look at his career stats and think, you've got to be kidding me! But walk on he did in 2005, and his career only skyrocketed over the next several seasons.

He did not play that first season. In 2006 he played in 14 games on special teams but still registered no stats as a receiver/returner. in 2007, a few catches and kick returns with decent numbers.

In 2008 and 2009, March was off the charts in receptions and kick returns. Accolades included Associated Press First-Team All-American. From there, it was off the NFL and stints with the Tennessee Titans and Chicago Bears from 2010-2016. He also played in the 2011 Pro Bowl.

Chase Reynolds, Drummond

One of the most decorated running backs in school history, Chase committed to play for the Griz in 2006. In 2008, he earned the starting job for the season, when he ran for a school single-season record of 22 touchdowns, racking up 1,583 yards. In the 2009 season, Reynolds rushed for 1,501 yards, and again scored 22 rushing touchdowns.

Chase's most productive professional days were with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, primarily as a special teams standout. And as he heads to the Hall, hopefully it's not the last Griz fans will hear the name Reynolds. His son Talen, a senior at Missoula's Loyola-Sacred Heart High School, recently announced his commitment to play at Montana.

Congrats, guys, and thanks for the many memories. The 2024 Montana Football Hall of Fame induction are scheduled for June 21-22.

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