MISSOULA — The former voice of the Montana Grizzlies, Mick Holien, has passed away.
Holien was the familiar sound you would hear coming through the radio as a Griz football or basketball fan for 31 memorable years.
Holien had truly been the voice of a generation as he was there for the lowest and highest points. From the football team's first national title in 1995 to the men's basketball team upsetting Nevada in 2006, Holien was there for it all.
"He absolutely lived and breathed Montana Grizzly sports and athletics," said Holein's coworker, Scott Gurnsey. "He was one of the most passionate, well spoke, wore his heart on his sleeve guy that you could ever be around."
Gurnsey and Holien called Griz football games together for more than 15 years.
"He made it so easy for just the laymen to listen to a game and understand it," said Gurnsey.
And that's exactly what Holien was able to do. For 31 years he slowly grew tighter and tighter with the community as a familiar voice, but those who were able to meet him in person know how special he was off the call as well.
"It didn't matter who you were, if you were a 4-year-old little kid or an old-timer, he had time for you," said Gurnsey. "He was forever the emcee at so many fundraisers and donation type deals. He loved doing that stuff, he never said no and was definitely tremendous in his philanthropy -- not so much with monetary things, but with giving his time to this cause and that cause. He was always there to lend a hand."