From reports on the Missoula bowling scene to calling hundreds of football and basketball games, Mick Holien led a life dedicated to sports broadcasting.

It was with a heavy heart that I received word of Mick's passing Thursday evening. We worked together for many years and knew each other even before those days.

We became radio coworkers in the early 1990s. By then he had moved on from keeping Missoula bowling enthusiasts up to date with weekly scoring reports and upcoming tournament events, to calling play-by-play for the University of Montana Lady Griz basketball team. When an opportunity came up for Mick to become the voice of Montana men's basketball and football, he accepted. But no doubt that love for the Lady Griz and his passion for the program stayed with him.

Easy to work with? Well, no. He had a high set of standards and expected those around him to be at their best as well. In fact, for many years, a line he used to close broadcasts with was, "Be at your best when your best is needed."  And he stayed true to that in his preparation and dedication to bringing a radio audience to the broadcast table with him, with colorful words and phrases that were uniquely Mick Holien.

He left the broadcast booth at the end of the 2015-16 seasons, ending a remarkable 31-year run. Mick faced a lot of medical challenges in recent years. Another favorite expression of his when his team was trailing was, "No hill too  high for a climber." Mick Holien climbed high and always gave it his best when his best was needed.

Rest well, friend.


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