MISSOULA- Griz fans remember Chase Reynolds well as one of the greatest players in the history of the Montana football program, but lately he's taken on a new role as an assistant coach at Missoula Loyola Sacred Heart.
But more importantly, he's getting the chance to coach his oldest son, Talen Reynolds, who's a senior on the team.
The No. 3 Rams are 3-0 to start the season after a runner-up finish in Class B a season ago, Talen — a running back and linebacker for Loyola — has been one of many key factors into 2023's start.
"I just knew that I probably had to take on a bigger leadership role this year, and kind of get everyone going," Talen said. "And just, I mean, do the same thing I did last year, kind of just run the ball and run hard."
And he's doing it alongside his father.
Chase coached Talen in youth sports growing up, but in his son's sophomore season, he was hired as an assistant coach at Loyola, as the two teamed up at the varsity level. Chase coaches the special teams for the Rams as well as the running backs and safeties.
"It's been pretty fun," Talen said. "He's been my coach my whole life with almost all my sports. So having him on the team is, it's really nice. And I can trust him as a coach and put a lot of faith into him.
"I mean, just like car rides to the practice and car rides back from the practice are pretty great. And just, I mean, I always have have him at practice, if anything's going bad. So it's pretty nice."
Chase Reynolds' name is dotted all over UM's record book as one of the greatest running backs in program history. From there, he went on to play in the NFL for six seasons with the Rams.
But along for the ride the whole way was Talen, as Chase and his wife, Kila, had Talen on Chase's 18th birthday in his senior year of high school.
Through all of the ups of Chase's decorated career, his family was right there with him.
"A lot of guys go out there and play, but I had something to play for," Chase said. "I mean, I was playing for Talen, I was playing for my wife Kila, I was playing for my daughter Peyton at the time, you know, so looking back and even though I was young, I mean, they were a lot of drive for why I played the way I did and I think the reason why I had a lot of success."
While very young when his dad was playing for the Griz and in the NFL, Talen doesn't remember much during his father's run as a player, but some memories stick out in what was a unique childhood.
"I remember I went to this daycare thing in the NFL," Talen said. "And I remember always going into that, and watching the games through the TV and then going up and seeing them after. That's about it."
"It's great, you know, he was at every Griz game," Chase added. "And when I ran out of the tunnel, first one, I'd go up and give my wife a kiss and give him a hug, and I mean, it was every game, that's what I did. And, you know, in the NFL was a little bit different. It's a little bit different mental-wise. You're gone a lot, you're working hard, your stress levels as high as it gets, right? It's a day-to-day job. But it was awesome.
"I mean, him being there. He's met all the guys that I played with like (Todd) Gurley, Aaron Donald, all those guys, and he was around. He was, you know, a part of that. And just being around it was pretty cool."
But his dad has been an inspiration growing up, and Talen now finds himself a two-way standout on the field, who recently was offered a scholarship by the Grizzlies to play for their football program after high school.
For Chase, it's been a special ride, with Talen now at the age he was when he had him, and he has a front-row seat to his successes as his coach, but more importantly, his father.
"As a parent, it's awesome to kind of sit back and see who he's grown into as a, as a young adult," Chase said. "I'm dad to him, and that's, that's my favorite thing. I've always been dad, and I've always tried to keep that fine line between, you know, I'm your dad, No. 1, you know, I'm just a normal guy trying to do my best as a parent.
"And I think that spills over to him and kind of who he is. And, you know, I don't feel like he feels like he has to live up to anything, which is fantastic. Because, he's above and beyond what I ever expected and wanted and I'm proud of him."