CALGARY – It’s been quite a year for Dave Dickenson. The former Griz quarterback became only the second player from UM to join the College Football Hall of Fame. And then Sunday night he became a champion once again.
Dickenson led the Calgary Stampeders to the Grey Cup, the Canadian Football League’s Super Bowl. The third year head coach and Great Falls native won two state titles at CMR High School, a national title playing for the Griz, one CFL title as a starter with the BC Lions, and another as an assistant with Calgary.
But in his first two years as head coach, Dickenson and the Stampeders went to the Grey Cup as favorites and lost. So getting over the hump in a 27-16 win over Ottawa brought on both joy and relief.
It’s been a couple tough years,” admitted Dickenson as his Stampeders returned to Calgary on Monday. “Even though great seasons, not being able to finish you could see hurt a lot of us, scarred us. This feels good. Big relief, though. I didn’t want to think about what three in-a-row losses would do. Just felt like it was overdue, and our guys earned it.”
Calgary’s quarterback, Bo Levi Mitchell, played for Eastern Washington in college and won the Grey Cup MVP Award. He said after the game that even though he and Dickenson argue often, “Dave is not talked about enough in the right way. That’s the greatest coach I’ve ever been around.”
A Bobcat also celebrates with the Stampeders. Former MSU star Alex Singleton plays middle linebacker for Calgary, and said of the championship, “there’s no better feeling in the world.”