(Editor's note: For MTN Sports' profile of Mike Person during the #MTTop40 countdown in 2018, click here.)
BILLINGS — Mike Person is a gentle giant, but don’t tell that to the defensive lineman he mowed down while paving running lanes throughout his football career.
As the Glendive and Montana State grad gets inducted to the Montana Football Hall of Fame on Saturday evening, he credits his hometown for instilling a mental toughness to navigate the ups and downs of both football and life.
“It's a blue-collar town and you see everybody go to work no matter what the weather is," Person told MTN Sports. "If you think the weather is bad in Bozeman, go about five hours east. It's a tough land over there, but it breeds a special person."
Person has countless memories between his days as a Red Devil and Bobcat, along with multiple NFL teams. But one fall afternoon in western Montana stands out the most.
“Probably my senior year over in Missoula beating them. Winning the Big Sky title that year was icing on the cake, but beating them in Missoula — that was special," Person said.
Person spent this past season on Mike McDaniel’s coaching staff for the Miami Dolphins, but life throws a wrench in things sometimes.
“We couldn't make it work for our family. My family is the most important thing to me. Those hours that we were putting in, it wasn't feasible to continue doing that," Person said. "Now I'm being a stay-at-home dad and chasing the kids around, trying to give my wife a break. But she's Superwoman. She does a great job with them, an amazing job."
The 2023 Montana Football Hall of Fame induction banquet is Saturday at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center.