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Some notes from Jiggs Dahlberg's 'Red Book'

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George P. "Jiggs" Dahlberg – Some “Red Book” notes

Below is a sample of information found in George Dahlberg’s “Red Book” – an unedited transcript of U of Mt men’s athletics from 1897 to 1980. In addition to listing teams, records, and players, he provided some unusual insight into the men’s athletic programs with his observations and comments.

Sadly, there is only one reference to women's sports that I can find in his book (pgs 11 - 12).

The 1901 women's basketball team consisted of the following:

The first girls team players: Forwards - Margaret Ronan and Eloise Rigby Center - Mabel Jones Guards - Meriam Hathaway and Lucia Merrilies Subs - Thula Toole, Ethel Barnes, Fay Murray, Evelyn Polleys, Caro Wells, Maud Burns, Ona Sloane, Mildred Corbin.


Surely, women's athletics is a subject for a future book.

A link to Dahlberg’s book is found below:





Kaimin, Nov. 10, 1936 The following university students were killed in World War I:

Ian G. Anderson - Virgil Bostwick - Lester Brennan - Roy S. Butzerin - Marcus Cook - Paul L. Dornblaser, Chicago, Football - 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913 - Sidney W. Dunbar - Fredrick Eitelberg - Francis Garrigus James H. Haubensak - Basketball 1916 - Samuel Hiebert - Harry H. Higman - Carlos W. Matheny - James Muri - William E. Ryan - James C. Simpkins - Bruce McK Thomas - Henry P. Torrey - David W. Whitmore - Ward M. Woodward - Football 1916


University of Mt football coaches – 1942

VARSITY FOOTBALL - 1942 Head Coach: Douglas Fessenden - University of Illinois (Joined the United States Air Corps Sept. 1, 1942) Head Coach: Harry Adams - University of Montana (Joined the United States Army Sept. 15, 1942) Head Coach: George "Jiggs" Dahlberg - University of Montana (Joined the United States Army Oct. 15, 1942) Head Coach: Clyde Carpenter - University of Montana (Joined the United States Navy at close of football season) Ass't. Coach: Jack Swarthout - University of Montana (Joined the United States Army (Paratroop Div.) in Spring 1943)



VARSITY FOOTBALL - 1943 Kaimin, Sept. 24, 1943 "The University of Montana withdraws from the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference for the coming year as have Stanford and Oregon." Due to the war, Montana did not field a football team.

Kaimin, Oct. 1943 Captain Thomas O'Donnell will be posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in Missoula this month when Colonel H.B. Hensley, Commanding Officer at Fort Harrison will present the award to his wife., Mrs. Barbara Adams O'Donnell. Captain Thomas O'Donnell earned the award at ATTS, May 25th. Wounded previously, Cap't. O'Donnell is attempting to lead his men into advance positions was fatally injured. He was already posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, oldest citation to the American Soldier. (Tom O'Donnell came to the University from Casper, Wyoming. He was regular tackle on the football in 1938-1939 and 1940. He was Captain of the 1940 team.)

Kaimin, Oct. 22, 1943 The Butte football stadium was dedicated and named "Naranche Stadium", in honor of Eso Naranche, former star athlete for Butte High School and the University of Montana. Eso was killed in action in North Africa. Eight thousand people witnessed the tribute to Lieut. Eso Naranche when Butte High School Stadium was dedicated as "Naranche Memorial Stadium". From her home in Los Angeles, Mrs. Delores Walker Naranche, Eso's widow, came to Butte for the ceremony. (Eso Naranche played regular fullback for the University of Montana in 1939-1940 and 1941. He was selected and played regular fullback for the West team in the annual East West Shrine game played in San Francisco (Jan. 1941). Eso was the 5th University of Montana player to be selected since the game was inaugurated in Jan. 1927.)

1943-1944 School Year Continued

Kaimin, 31, 1943 Colonel Hubert Zemke '35 was awarded the nation's second highest military honor - The Distinguished Service Cross. Col. Zemke was given the award for gallantry above and beyond the call of duty during recent raids on enemy positions in the European Theatre. Col. Zemke heads a fighting group of the Eight Air Force. He also has the Silver Star, D.F.C. with 3 oak leaf clusters and the British D.F.C. The ex-Grizzly now has 11 planes to his credit and led his group on a daring attack on a German airdrone. (Hubert "Hub" Zemke played guard on the 1933 University football team.)

Note: No members of the 1942-1943 basketball squad returned. They all entered the armed forces. The decision to field a team was finally made in late Dec. 1943. Coach Buzzetti had to depend upon freshman with little or no experience. The Montana School of Mines and Carroll College had Navy programs which helped them considerably because they had basketball talent from many sections of the United States. Eastern Washington College had a fine team due to the fact that they had two exceptionally fine players (4F) who were ineligible for military service. The University team did well in winning 2 games from the competition they had to meet. Montana State College did not field a team. Note: Naseby Rhinehart, Athletic Department Trainer, worked in the ship yards at Seattle this school year.


VARSITY FOOTBALL - 1944 Football was cancelled due to the war.

VARSITY TRACK - 1945 Note: Due to World War II - varsity track was cancelled

1945-1946 School Year Continued Varsity Basketball Schedule 1945-1946 Continued

Won 13 Lost 16 SEASON SUMMARY Montana had an unusual number of players on this years squad. This was due to the fact that several ex-service men returned to school the winter quarter. The change in team personnel during the winter quarter made it difficult for the coach to pick out the 6 to 8 best players. Using the same 6 to 8 players all season is essential to determining a successful basketball season. The following players joined the basketball squad the winter quarter: Louis Rocheleau - John Helding - Don Peterson - John Cheek - Tom Selstad - Charles "Timer" Moses


NEW UNIVERSITY BASKETBALL RECORDS MADE 1945-1946 SEASON 1. Points in one game - 103 against Gonzaga University 2. Best game average - 55.5 per game 3. Most points in one season - 1610 4. Most free throws in one season - 345 5. Most free throws in one game - 21 6. Individual high points in one game: Louis Rocheleau - 36 against Gonzaga University 7. Individual game average: Louis Rocheleau - 16.7 in 19 games 8.

Scored 80 points against the Bobcats (M.S.C.) Previous record was 77 by the Bobcats against University in 1930


1979 - 1980 SCHOOL YEAR (continued) I began keeping records of the Men's Athletic teams here at the University of Montana where I arrived on the campus as head basketball coach and assistant football coach. The year was 1937. In order to obtain information previous to 1937 I did research from the Missoulian, the Kaimin, and the University Annuals. I am now 92 years old and I believe that it is time a younger person to continue keeping the historical records of the University of Montana Men's Athletic teams. George P. "Jiggs" Dahlberg.

The Biographical Note below is from Dahlberg’s papers at Archives West:

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

George P. Dahlberg, best known as Jiggs Dahlberg, was born April 21, 1900, in Butte, Montana. He was educated at the State University at Missoula (now The University of Montana-Missoula), where he played both football and basketball and earned six varsity letters. Dahlberg graduated in 1925. He went on to coach Grizzly basketball for 18 years (1937-1942 and 1944-1955), leading the team to 222 wins. He achieved more wins and coached for more years than anyone in the history of Grizzly basketball. Dahlberg then served as the Grizzly athletic director for 16 years (1955-70).

Dahlberg started the athletic department’s fundraising arm in 1955 with the UM Century Club, which became the Grizzly Athletic Association (now the Grizzly Scholarship Association). Dahlberg was also an avid Grizzly sports historian. He created the Red Book, a handwritten compilation of statistics, rosters, and pertinent information for each season of Grizzly athletics from 1897 to 1980.

Dahlberg received the title of professor emeritus from UM's Department of Health and Human Performance, the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame inducted Dahlberg in 1993, and the arena in UM's Adams Center is named in his honor. He died September 18, 1993.


Last Updated on Sunday, 20 August 2017 23:46