MISSOULA — While typically the home for the college basketball programs at the University of Montana, last weekend the Adams Center played host to the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony. It was a special night for Wayne Tinkle, Brian Ah Yat, Skyla Sisco and Adam Bork who were all enshrined into the Hall of Fame after their storied careers with UM athletics.
Voice of the Griz Riley Corcoran was the emcee of the event while Gary Hughes became the third-ever recipient of the Grizzly Lifetime Honors award for his 35-year tenure with the athletic department.
Bork, who hails from Bigfork, was an All-American decathlete with the Griz and eventually went on to be an assistant coach with the Grizzlies track and field team for 15 years.
For Bork, repping small-town Montana with his achievements stood out.
"To make it from a really small school in Montana to top of the national level, I’ve learned isn’t easy especially because a lot of kids don’t believe in themselves as much as they could because they are from little small towns and they don’t really have that level of competition until they get to a place like here," Bork said. "So I know it isn’t easy and I feel proud of what I’ve done."
For Sisco, it's a similar point of pride as the former Lady Griz point guard hails from Malta on the Hi-Line.
The 1998 Big Sky MVP, Sisco helped lead the Lady Griz to four NCAA Tournament appearances in her career, but for her, the teammates around her were the ones to thank for her induction into the Hall of Fame.
"And I think just thinking about it in the last month, it just became really clear to me that if you’re a kind of undersized point guard and you made it into the Hall of Fame, then you must’ve had really good teammates," Sisco said. "Because I’m not a scorer. I scored some points but that wasn’t my role and that’s what I’ve come to learn the most about it just in my reflection is that I had amazing teammates."
Ah Yat was the heir apparent to Dave Dickenson at quarterback for the Montana Grizzlies in 1996.
He led UM to the national championship game in '96 and was a two-time Big Sky Offensive MVP.
Relationships built at Montana was something that stood out to all four nominees, including Ah Yat, who arrived at UM as a quiet kid from Hawaii.
"Very young, naive, quiet kid, not knowing much about Montana but this university has so many great people, great coaches, great players that helped me along the way and all of the relationships that I’ve built," Ah Yat said. "I haven’t see some of my buddies for over 20 years and it’s just like riding a bike. Picked up right where we left off and that’s the one thing that really stands out to me."
Tinkle was a standout player and coach for the Griz men's basketball team, and is the only coach to take the Griz to the NCAA Tournament three times.
He's heading into his eighth season as the head coach at Oregon State after leading the Beavers to the Elite 8 a year ago, and Tinkle also joins his wife, the former Lisa McLeod, as the newest Hall of Famer in the family.
"This place means the world to me and my family," Tinkle said. "It’s where I met my wife it’s where we raised our kids and we’re forever in-debited because of all that Missoula and the University of Montana has done for all of us."
For more details on the four inductees, click here.