MISSOULA - Following the announcement of a new television partnership with the Big Sky Conference, the Montana Television Network is proud to share the broadcast team that will bring Montana Grizzly Football to viewers across the state.
Jay Kohn will be the play-by-play announcer for all MTN games with former Grizzly quarterback and NFL coach Marty Mornhinweg providing color commentary. The two are joined in the booth by Jon Stepanek who brings nearly 40 years of sports and news broadcasting to the telecasts and Kyle Hansen reporting from the sidelines.
“This is a powerhouse team on par with the quality of Grizzly football.”, KPAX-TV Vice President and General Manager Brian Joyce said. “Connecting the mastery and knowledge of the game Marty Mornhinweg has with the talents of Jay Kohn is a win for fans.”
MTN viewers will recognize Kohn through his award-winning career in Montana broadcasting including stints as MTN's Capitol Bureau Chief in Helena, News Director/Anchor at KXLF-TV in Butte, and 20 years co-anchoring the local evening newscasts for KTVQ in Billings. Kohn’s career began as Sports Director for KTCM-TV in Helena, where he also started his play-by-play work as the radio voice of the Helena High Bengals. This past spring, he was thrilled to handle play-by-play duties for the Billings Outlaws of the Champions Indoor Football Network.
The University of Montana has been a part of the Kohn family for four generations. Kohn’s grandmother, father, two sisters, and two of his children are UM graduates. Kohn graduated with honors from the U of M School of Journalism in 1976.
"As a lifelong Griz fan, this is truly my dream job.”, Kohn said. “To get this opportunity to bring Grizzly football back to free TV across Montana is too good to be true."
Marty Mornhinweg first came to Montana in August 1980 to attend the University of Montana on a football scholarship. He joined a program eager for success and wins. After being ranked as a bottom 20 team in the country, Mornhinweg led the Grizzlies to a 7-3 record in 1981. The next season he led them to their first Big Sky championship in 12 years. This included the first playoff appearance in the school’s history playing for Head Coach Larry Donavan and Quarterback Coach Joe Glenn. Those UM teams in the early to mid-1980s, with Mornhinweg at quarterback, helped lay the foundation for the future success of Grizzly football.
Launching his professional career, Mornhinweg spent time as the training camp quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers under Head Coach Bill Walsh.
With prior coaching experience, Mornhinweg moved to Northern Arizona University where he coached running backs and met his wife, Lindsay. From there he spent 10 years coaching college football.
In 1995, Mornhinweg entered the professional ranks and has since coached in the NFL for an amazing 26 years. During that time, he worked with some of the all-time greats of the game including quarterbacks Brett Favre, Steve Young, Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Joe Flacco, Lamar Jackson, and Jalen Hurts; receivers Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, Desean Jackson, and Steve Smith; running backs Dorsey Levens, Garrison Hearst, Charlie Garner, Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy, and Chris Johnson and many others.
Mornhinweg’s Montana ties run deep, and he’s looking forward to being a vital contributor to MTN’s Montana Grizzly coverage. “I am excited to be part of the MTN Griz telecast team. Griz nation all day every day!” Mornhinweg commented.
Jay Kohn adds, "Having admired Marty Mornhinweg's career from Dornblaser Stadium to the NFL, I can't wait to welcome his knowledge and charisma into the broadcast booth. This promises to be must-see TV."
Jon Stepanek has been in news and sports broadcasting in Montana and California for four decades. Most recently he served for 28 years as news director for the MTN affiliate, KTVQ, in Billings. During that time, he also broadcast Carroll College Football, the Montana East-West Shrine Game, minor league baseball, along with high school football and basketball. Before moving to Montana, Stepanek also broadcast football and basketball games featuring Cal Poly University for 10 years.
“I’m excited to work with Jay, Marty, and Kyle along with a talented technical crew. It’s great to have Montana college football back home on MTN," Stepanek remarked.
Kyle Hansen is entering his fourth year with MTN after making the leap to broadcast journalism from the newspaper world. A Billings native, Hansen studied journalism at the University of Arizona. Upon graduation, he returned to Montana and after stints with local newspapers joined MTN in September 2019 working from the Missoula affiliate, KPAX.
Hansen has enjoyed telling stories of athletes across Montana at all levels and in every sport during his six-plus years in journalism. He’s excited to bring those stories to viewers around the state during Griz gamedays.
“Every player and coach that steps onto the field has a unique story about how they got there,” Hansen said. “I’m incredibly excited and grateful to share those stories and work alongside such a talented broadcast team.”
The first broadcast for this team happens Saturday, September 24 when Montana hosts Portland State. That game can be seen on CW Montana and viewers can check their local listings for the channel in their area.
This is one of the final pieces of an exciting, new partnership between the Big Sky Conference and Scripps, owner of the Montana Television Network. Throughout the 2022 season, thirteen Montana and Montana State football games will be broadcast free to television viewers over the air. This lineup includes the 121st Brawl of the Wild pitting the Grizzlies against the Bobcats.
About the Montana Television Network (MTN): MTN is the largest group of broadcast television stations in Montana. It includes KTVQ Billings, KBZK Bozeman, KXLF Butte, KRTV & KTGF Great Falls, KTVH & KXLH Helena, KAJ Kalispell, and KPAX Missoula. MTN is the official broadcast partner of the Big Sky Conference and delivers complete coverage of the Grizzlies on air and online at MontanaSports.com.
About Scripps: The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) is a diversified media company focused on creating a better-informed world. As one of the nation’s largest local TV broadcasters, Scripps serves communities with quality, objective local journalism and operates a portfolio of 61 stations in 41 markets. The Scripps Networks reach nearly every American through the national news outlets Court TV and Newsy and popular entertainment brands ION, Bounce, Defy TV, Grit, ION Mystery, Laff, and TrueReal. Scripps is the nation’s largest holder of broadcast spectrum. Scripps runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and is the longtime steward of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”
About the Big Sky Conference: Founded in 1963, the Big Sky Conference [bigskyconf.com] is an NCAA Division I conference competing in the Football Championship Subdivision. With 165 teams representing 15 institutions in 16 sports (seven men’s, nine women’s), the Big Sky prides itself on its “#ExperienceElevated” platform that emphasizes the unique traits and lifelong benefits that the conference and its member institutions provide to around 4,000 student-athletes each year. The conference has 11 full members (Eastern Washington University; the University of Idaho; Idaho State University; the University of Montana; Montana State University; Northern Arizona University; the University of Northern Colorado; Portland State University; California State University, Sacramento; Southern Utah University; and Weber State University) located in eight states across the western United States, plus two football affiliate members (California Polytechnic State University and the University of California, Davis) and two men’s golf affiliate members (Binghamton University and the University of Hartford). Conference members have won 12 NCAA championships, including seven in football by five different members as well as five of the last six men’s cross country titles by NAU.