Fergus graduate inducted into Montana Tech Hall of Fame

By: 
DOREEN HEINTZ
Special to the News-Argus
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
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Shirley Barrick (from left), Coach Bob Green and David Barrick celebrate David’s induction into the Montana Tech Hall of Fame at a banquet Friday evening in Butte. 

Photo by Doreen Heintz

 

Following graduation from Fergus High School in 2001, David Barrick headed for college at Montana Tech in Butte that fall. Once he got to Tech, Barrick felt like a fish out of water. That is until his good friend and high school football team member Nate Foster convinced Barrick to become a fill-in student manager for the Oredigger football team. Foster was playing football for the Orediggers. 

Barrick quickly found his Oredigger family - the Montana Tech football team. Head Coach Bob Green also found a very hard worker for the team. 

Barrick, or “Maynerd” as he is known to Oredigger faithful, became a dedicated supporter and contributor to Montana Tech athletics. Friday night Barrick joined Tech football player Dan Mahoney, volleyball player Laura (Stout) Mortensen, and the three men’s basketball teams from 1982-1985 as this year’s Montana Tech Hall of Fame inductees.

Introducing Barrick at the Hall of Fame banquet, Tech Athletic Director Matt Stepan said Barrick was incredibly resourceful and extremely hard working. Some of his duties included cleaning uniforms, filming games and practices, washing thousands of towels, repairing equipment, supplying water, inventory management, setting up the stadium for game day and acting as a true friend to many Orediggers. 

“Since graduating, Maynerd has continued his enthusiastic support for Tech athletics through his donation of time and his great wood working skills on numerous Oredigger inspired items,” Stepan told the Hall of Fame crowd. “Barrick has created numerous ‘Maynerd Made’ items for former Oredigger senior student-athletes. Maynerd has also contributed time and dollars to the Digger Athletic Association, Digger Turf, Touchdown Club trailer and the annual jackpot trip.”

 Stepan said perhaps Barrick’s biggest contribution to Tech was his design and construction of Bob Green Field at Alumni Coliseum. Since graduating Barrick has worked for DOWL, a full service engineering company based in Butte. 

“In addition, Maynerd can name every All-American and Hall of Fame inductee on the Montana Tech football team,” added Stepan. “Currently he is writing a book about the history of Montana Tech football.”

 

Barrick thanks many in his acceptance speech

When Barrick took the microphone after being introduced by Stepan, his thoughts and words quickly turned to all the people who have been a great influence on his life. Barrick especially thanked Foster for getting him involved in the football program. He also thanked former football Coach Bob Green. 

“Coach Green became my ‘father’ figure,” Barrick told the crowd. 

Barrick’s father was killed in a farming accident when Barrick was just a year old.

Barrick also had strong words of praise for his mom, Shirley. 

“She has done so many things for me over the years,” Barrick said. “My mom provided a rigid foundation for my life. She also spent numerous hours helping me with many of my projects for Montana Tech.”

One of the projects the two of them spent hours and hours doing was making wall hangings of jerseys of the individual members of the Hall of Fame. Shirley spent hours working on cutting and sewing the jerseys down to size so they would fit into the frames that David built. Their works of art now hang in the Tech Hall of Fame for all to enjoy. 

Barrick also thanked DOWL, the company he works for their commitment to him and his work. 

Following Barrick’s remarks, Stepan announced an endowed scholarship in Barrick’s name has been established. The first $1,000 for the scholarship was donated by DOWL. Stepan remarked that $5,000 has already been raised for the scholarship.

 

Hall of Famers honored at football game and volleyball match

On Saturday, the Hall of Fame inductees were honored at halftime of the football game between Montana Tech and Southern Oregon. Tech won the conference contest, 17-14.

The inductees were also honored at the Tech volleyball match on Saturday evening. The Tech volleyball squad capped off the Hall of Fame weekend with a 25-20, 25-9, 25-16 pasting of Montana State-Northern. 

 

Kelvin Sampson coached the three men’s basketball teams inducted into Hall of Fame

 

University of Houston men’s basketball coach Kelvin Sampson returned to Butte this past weekend as three of the four teams he coached were inducted into the Montana Tech Hall of Fame. Sampson began his college coaching career as a green 25-year-old at Montana Tech. 

The season before Sampson became the coach at Montana Tech, the Orediggers lost over 20 games, according to Joe Puckett, captain of the 1982-1983 team. 

“We played hard that first season under Coach Sampson,” said Puckett, “but we ended up with a 4-23 record.”

Sampson corrected Puckett on their win-loss record.

“We actually ended up at 7-20 because Western used an ineligible player that season and had to forfeit their three wins over us,” Sampson said. 

After his first season, Sampson knew he needed to recruit players from all over the United States in order to be successful.

“In order to form a team into a winner, we needed players from all over the United States,” he said. 

The 1992-1983 men’s team finished third in the Frontier Conference regular season standings with a 22-9 record (10-5 in the conference). The team then won the conference tournament and earned a berth in the NAIA District 12 Tournament. The Orediggers season ended with a loss in the District 12 title game. Sampson earned Coach of the Year honors for the Frontier Conference.

In 1983-1984 the Orediggers won their first of two back-to-back regular season crowns with a 22-7 and an 11-4 conference mark and their second straight conference title. Tech lost in the District 12 Tournament. 

1984-1985 was Sampson’s final season at Tech. That year he led the Orediggers to their best record under his tenure, finishing 22-6 overall and 12-3 in the Frontier Conference. The Orediggers won their second consecutive regular season title and their third straight Frontier Conference Tournament. Sampson won his second Frontier Coach of the Year award. Tech entered the District 12 Tournament with the best record, but lost in the championship game. 

 “We were a family,” said Sampson, reminiscing about his years at Tech. “One story I remember was when we went to play the College of Great Falls. They had always had a strong basketball team. The coach there told me I could never win in basketball at Montana Tech.”

From Tech, Sampson went to Washington State University as the men’s coach. Sampson also coached at Indiana and Oklahoma and was an assistant coach in the NBA for several years. Sampson led Oklahoma to a Final Four appearance in 2002. He was named the University of Houston coach in April, 2014. Sampson led the Cougars to a Sweet Sixteen appearance in the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. 

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