GRIZ GRIT: Deserving Hall-of-Famers

By Beacon Staff

Two players who had a lot to do with the future success of Griz and Lady Griz athletics have been selected to the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame.

And while women’s hoops was in the midst of unprecedented league dominance, with a seemingly annual postseason appearance and record crowds when Lisa (Mcleod) Tinkle played, Grizzly football was still on the cusp of greatness when Joe Douglass transferred from Oregon State University to the University of Montana, where he eventually won a national championship.

During Lisa’s four-year tenure, in 1986-1989, the Lady Griz lost just two conference games and only 15 overall and annually advanced to the postseason.

She followed All-Conference center Sharla Muralt in the Lady Griz post and three times was named to the Mountain West or Big Sky All-Conference teams.

She set the career scoring record (since broken) on teams that were balanced throughout in talent and still remains in the top 10 in 12 career categories.

Lisa was rugged but also played with finesse. She was the league MVP in 1988-89 and still holds the career mark for blocks with 237.

In 123 games – one less than the career mark of fellow Hall of Famer Marti Leibenguth – Lisa trails only Shannon Cate in scoring (1,470), field goals and field goals attempted.

Also adept at reading passing lanes, she grabbed 79 steals in 1989 (third all-time) and stands eighth in career take-aways with more than any other interior player (177).

Douglass was the accelerator for football teams that went 27-3 in 1995 and 1996 and set the bar for future squads.

Douglass is seventh on the career receiving charts with 2,301 yards – 800 yards more than any other two-year player. But even more than during the regular season, Douglass was a prime playoff performer.

In eight postseason games, including the back-to-back chippers, Douglass hauled in 73 receptions for 978 yards and seven TDs.

He still holds the Football Championship Subdivision record with 41 playoff catches in 1996, including 13 in the second championship game against Marshall.

His 82 catches and 18 receiving touchdowns in 1996 rank atop the single-season list and his 1,469 yards were just exceeded by 10 by Marc Mariani.

He shares the single-game TD mark with four with Mariani, Mike Rice and Marvin Turk and with 279 yards against Eastern Washington University, 250 against Northern Arizona University and 225 versus Sacramento State University. As well as other single performances of 208 and 205 yards, Douglass has five of the top eight receiving games in Griz history.

A back-to-back All-League first teamer, he also was an electrifying punt returner who had that innate sense to find the crease, hesitate for a block to develop and reverse field – a skill that time and time again turned around field position.

Named to several All-American teams in 1996, he stands fourth and eighth on the all-time single-season punt return list.

Say the name Joe Douglass and most short-term fans will think you misspelled it and would not be able to give you his number, but I can tell you he was something special and certainly one of the best of all time on teams with their share of all-time greats.

Lisa and Joe played in 145 games for Montana and I had the deep privilege of broadcasting each one. It was near the start of my run with the University of Montana and times I’ll cherish forever because of gamers like Lisa and Joe.