MISSOULA — Kelley Bryant, an interior defensive lineman at Montana from 1996-99, died recently after a bout with cancer. The Grizzlies announced Bryant's passing on Friday via social media. Bryant was 46.
Bryant was a four-year letterwinner and a three-year starter on Montana's defensive line, helping the Grizzlies to a 39-12 record, four playoff berths and an appearance in the FCS (then Division I-AA) national championship game in 1996 under coach Mick Dennehy.
We lost a good one too soon.— Montana Griz Football (@MontanaGrizFB) January 27, 2023
Saddened to hear our brother Kelley Bryant passed away after a battle with cancer.
Help us keep his family in your prayers. pic.twitter.com/MMrwsonnfm
Bryant, from Honolulu, Hawaii, began his playing career at Oregon State in 1995, where he redshirted before transferring to UM the following season. As a sophomore in 1997, Bryant was named first-team All-Big Sky and was chosen as the Grizzlies' outstanding sophomore.
After an injury hampered junior year, Bryant had 34 total tackles, six quarterback sacks, eight tackles for loss, a fumble recovery, a special teams touchdown and a safety as a senior in 1999. Bryant was first-team all-conference and an All-America selection that season.
Bryant finished his career with 72 total tackles and 13 quarterback sacks.
"We lost a good one too soon," the Grizzlies tweeted Friday. "Saddened to hear our brother Kelley Bryant passed away after a battle with cancer. Help us keep his family in your prayers."
To watch a reel of Bryant's Griz career, see the video above.