BILLINGS – Former Montana Grizzles kicker Bruce Carlson, who graduated as the school’s all-time leader in points scored in 1977, died last Thursday morning. He was 62.
The Carlsons have become one of the most recognizable Grizzly families over the years. Bruce’s dad Gene played in the early 1950’s, and then took over as head coach in the late 70’s during Bruce’s playing days.
Bruce had four brothers and sisters – all of whom were UM athletes – and then had two sons play for the Grizzlies after starring at Billings West. Bruce’s other son, Chris, went on to play football for Harvard University.
Bruce excelled at Great Falls High School as a kicker and linebacker from 1971-74, and still ranks in the University of Montana’s top 15 all-time leading scorers with 197 points. He graduated from Montana with a degree in accounting. Upon graduation, he was invited as a free agent placekicker by the Chicago Bears, but a hamstring injury ended his pursuit of a pro career.
Carlson was born May 22, 1956 in Aurora, Colorado, before moving to Great Falls at the age of one.