(Editor's note: Each Monday for eight weeks, MTN Sports is featuring a member of the 2022 Montana Football Hall of Fame Class leading into the June 25 banquet at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center. Tickets are available on the organization's website.)
BILLINGS - Born in Helena, Blaine McElmurry spent his formidable years growing up in Troy, a town planted in Montana's far northwest corner and much closer to Idaho and Canada than the NFL where he spent time with multiple teams.
McElmurry was a multi-sport athlete who dominated all over the football field for his dad, who was head coach of the Trojans while the two teamed up for Troy's first and only state title in the early 1990s.
From there, the skinny McElmurry carved himself into an All-America player for the Griz. He also had an offer from Montana State but, living in a mining town, grew up bleeding that copper color.
McElmurry helped the University of Montana win 27 games during his junior and senior seasons, including UM's first national championship in 1995 season, back when the NCAA division was 1-AA instead of the current FCS. Montana marched onto Marshall's home field in Huntington, West Virginia, that December and rallied past the Thundering Hurd 22-20 on national ESPN.
McElmurry and the Griz made it back-to-back title game appearances the following season before falling short 49-29 at Marshall, a team featuring future NFL quarterback Chad Pennington and NFL Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss.
McElmurry's elite college credentials led him to the NFL where he'd suit up for the Houston Oilers, who later became the Tennessee Titans, before joining the Packers — with guys named Brett Favre and Reggie White — who reached the Super Bowl. He later spent a couple seasons in Jacksonville before circling back to the Titans. In between, the hard-hitting defensive back also played in the newly-formed NFL Europe.
Like most high level football players, McElmurry grinded through injuries ultimitately playing in 19 NFL games where he was credited with 19 tackles and one interception.
Now, 30 years after winning that Class B state title in Troy, McElmurry and his wife Kristy live in the Missoula area raising their third daughter and spearheading McElmurry Homes, a custom home building business proven to be highly rewarding years after founding it.