MISSOULA — It's another exciting day at the Montana Television Network as we inch closer to our first live broadcast of Griz football.
Our broadcast teams for coverage of Montana and Montana State are set, and we have one member on our Griz coverage team who has over 20 years of experience coaching in the NFL, and he spent his college days in Missoula with the Montana Grizzlies.
Because, of course, football is everything to Marty Mornhinweg.
So much so, that he and his wife Lindsay have a toy golden doodle named MoMo, which happens to be a formation call on the football field.
"That's a call that sometimes a tackle will make," Mornhinweg explained at his home. "When he has a man on him, no call. All of a sudden the linebacker gets outside or the free safety or possibly a corner crash, he'll say 'MoMo.' Man on, and another man outside, man on, man outside, 'MoMo.'"
Mornhinweg's energy and passion for the game will be brought to TV's all across Montana as he will provide color commentary for MTN broadcasted games for his alma mater.
Mornhinweg lived all over growing up, from being born in Oklahoma to going to high school in San Jose, California, and then-Griz coach Larry Donovan found a way to get Mornhinweg in Missoula.
"At the end of the call he goes, 'I know you're waiting on certain schools,' and he goes, 'I'd researched it out,'" Mornhinweg recalled. "He goes, 'Marty, if you go where you're really wanted, rather than where you want to go, things typically work out really well.' I hung up the phone, I said dad let's get a map out and see where Missoula, Montana is and I called him the next day and I said, 'I'm coming coach.'"
As a player, Mornhinweg and the Griz helped turn the program around in the early 80's.
With stops around the country as a coach — including time spent as the head coach of the Detroit Lions among other stops in Green Bay, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore — Marty and Lindsay are back in Missoula, with Lindsay telling Marty a long time ago this is where they wanted to end up.
"And I've told her about 10 times, I am so happy that you picked Missoula, Montana because I love living here," he said.
Football has been his life passion, and come gamedays, Mornhinweg is excited to bring his knowledge to fans across Montana.
"Both playing, coaching, that's basically all I've ever done," he said. "I know I can add just a little bit of insight throughout a ball game. What a great challenge, what a great opportunity, what a great environment. I'm excited to get even closer to the Griz football team."
Alongside Mornhinweg, longtime MTN veteran anchor and reporter Jay Kohn will be handling play-by-play duties, as well as longtime MTN news director Jon Stepanek will be tasked with spotting and broadcasting duties. Kyle Hansen rounds out the team as the reporter from the sidelines.
MTN's first broadcast for Griz games will be Sept. 24 when UM hosts Portland State.