BILLINGS – Longtime Billings Senior High football coach Pat Dolan passed away over the weekend due to complications from heart surgery, according to his family.
P.D., as he was known to many, was of Montana’s biggest football presences on any sideline. He coached the Broncs for 12 seasons before resigning in December of 1997. Prior to that, Dolan was the head football coach in Glasgow.
Dolan’s rich tradition of family football included playing high school ball at Great Falls Central with brothers Johno and Mike before joining the University of Montana as a safety under coach Jack Swarthout. His Griz teams produced back-to-back 10-0 regular seasons, earning trips to the Camellia Bowl in 1969 and 1970. Dolan married his wife Shelley and served as a UM assistant for seven seasons.
Pat’s father, John, played for the Griz between 1936-1939. He was a team captain who was also twice named all-Pacific Coast Conference. Montana produced 11 shutouts during John’s tenure.
Pat’s son Nathan followed family footsteps becoming the third generation to play for UM. During Nathan’s tenure with the Griz between 1992-1995, they were 4-0 against Montana State. His senior season, Montana won the NCAA I-AA National Championship with a 22-20 win over Marshall.
Dolan’s daughter Heather was a Midland Roundtable athlete of the year winner in Billings after an outstanding high school career in volleyball, basketball and track and field at Senior. She went on to play volleyball at Montana State.
“He recently enjoyed one of his most thrilling coaching adventures,” said son-in-law Robb Bergeson. “He was the defensive coordinator at Ben Steele Middle School and actually had the chance to coach his grandson Riley, and they won the City Championship last year.”
Funeral service are arranged for 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 26, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Billings.