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Montana Grizzlies' "Monte" to be enshrined in Mascot Hall of Fame

Monte
Posted at 3:05 PM, Jun 14, 2024

(Editor's note: Montana Athletics news release.)

MISSOULA — Monte, the University of Montana’s longtime bear mascot, will forever be immortalized as he was selected as a member of the Mascot Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024.

He will be inducted during a ceremony later this fall, alongside professional mascots Jaxson de Ville (Jacksonville Jaguars), Lou Seal (San Francisco Giants) and Orbit (Houston Astros).

A staple in the Treasure State, Monte (short for Montana) has delighted fans and friends across Montana since his inception in 1993. His acrobatic skills, infectious enthusiasm, engaging personality and signature entrances to football games have made him a favorite among Griz fans for more than three decades.

More than just sports, though, the mischievous bear can be found at local schools, community service opportunities and other events in Missoula and around the state.

Monte is the two-time Capital One Mascot of the Year, and earlier this spring earned runner-up at The College Classic National Championship. Always portrayed by current University of Montana students, the character has produced mascots at the professional ranks, including fellow Mascot Hall of Famers Benny (Chicago Bulls) and Clutch (Houston Rockets).

With this year’s four inductees, a total of 33 mascots have been inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame. Monte is the 10th NCAA mascot, and the only one from a current FCS institution. Other NCAA institutions to have their mascot inducted are: Auburn, Delaware, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Syracuse, Tennessee, Western Kentucky and Wisconsin.

Monte was originally placed on the Class of 2024 ballot in May, along with 18 other collegiate and professional mascots. The voting was broken up into three categories: fan voting, Mascot Hall of Fame members and the Mascot Hall of Fame executive committee.

"The Mascot Hall of Fame is honored to welcome Jaxson de Ville, Lou Seal, Monte, and Orbit into the Class of 2024," said Joby Giacalone, chairman of the executive committee of the Mascot Hall of Fame.

"Each of these mascots has made significant contributions to their teams and communities, exemplifying the joy and entertainment that mascots bring to sports. Their induction celebrates their legacy and the indelible impact they have had on fans."

The Mascot Hall of Fame was founded in 2014 and launched an interactive exhibit in Whiting, Indiana, outside of Chicago, in 2018. Earlier this winter, it was named the nation’s top pop culture museum by USA Today.

Details about Monte’s induction ceremony, as well as a special recognition for Monte at a Griz football game, will be announced this summer.