Orediggers Win Frontier Conference Bandy Award

By MT Tech Sports Information

WHITEFISH, Mont. – The Frontier Conference announced that Montana Tech is the winner of the 2022-23 Bandy Memorial All-Sports Trophy. The award is the fifth for the Orediggers and first since 1992-93.

“It’s an exciting time for Digger Athletics and I couldn’t be more proud of our department, coaches, but most of all the student- athletes,” said Director of Athletics Matt Stepan. “These young men and women have dedicated themselves to excellence in their respective sports, in our community, and most importantly in the classroom.”

The Bandy Memorial award is presented each year to the conference institution that has accumulated the most points based on its regular season league finish in football, men and women’s basketball, men and women’s cross country, women’s volleyball, men and women’s golf, and men and women’s outdoor track & field.

“I look back to this day with much pride and reflect on all the great teams, players and coaches our Digger programs had when we won the Bandy Award in 1992-93,” said alumni and former Oredigger student-athlete Eric Jacobsen. Jacobsen was the quarterback on for Montana Tech football team that won the conference championship, and last Bandy Award, in 1992.

“It is fantastic that the Digger Nation has triumphed again 30 years later, bringing home the Bandy!  To realize so much success across all of our athletic programs makes it that much more special.”

The Orediggers have not had a competitive opportunity for the Bandy Award until the recent additions of cross country and track & field. Tech topped Carroll College for the top spot with the smallest margin of victory in the history of the award with 130 points to 129.8.

Montana Tech won regular season titles in men’s basketball, volleyball, and men’s and women’s track & field. The recent track & field championships from last week sealed the Bandy for the Orediggers this year.

Rocky Mountain College finished third with 112 points followed by the University of Providence with 76.8 points, Montana Western, 72.5 points, MSU-Northern 68.3 points, College of Idaho 14.5 points, Southern Oregon seven points and Eastern Oregon with six points.

“Receiving the Bandy Award is a tremendous honor and reflective of the determination and commitment of our student-athletes,” said Chancellor Les Cook. “Student success is our primary goal and as a Montana Tech family, we couldn’t be prouder of our student-athletes and our coaching staff. The 2022-23 academic year has been one for the record books at Montana Tech and we look forward to continuing this tradition.”

Tech finished third in football and both men’s and women’s cross country this fall. The men’s and women’s golf teams took second and the women’s basketball team finished fifth.

Men’s track & field earned their first conference championship this year and the women’s team won their second straight with just two years as a program. The volleyball team won their third regular season title and first since 2019 under head coach Brian Solomon who just finished his 11th season. Men’s basketball went back-to-back winning their second conference title in the last two years under seventh-year head coach Adam Hiatt. Last season’s title broke a 19-year drought going back to the 1992-93 season for men’s basketball.

“This is a great accomplishment and the product of a full team effort including the support from the faculty, staff, and administration at Montana Tech and the love from the alumni and Butte communities. There’s much work left to do, but it’s certainly a great day to be an Oredigger,” said Stepan.