Sweeney selected as part of 2022 Hall of Fame class

Sweeney selected as part of 2022 Hall of Fame class
Butte native Jim Sweeney is shown during his days as coach at Fresno State in this Associated Press file photo.

BILLINGS — The late Jim Sweeney was selected for induction into the Montana Football Hall of Fame, the organization announced.

Sweeney, a Butte native, will be one of eight players enshrined in the Hall next June 25 at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center. He will be joined by Blaine McElmurry, Shann Schillinger, Marv Sunderland, Rocky Gullickson, Robert Doore and Dane Storruston.

Jim Sweeney, who coached Fresno State’s football team for 19 seasons and retired with a school-record 144 victories, passed away at the age of 83 in 2013.

Sweeney, who was inducted into the Butte Sports Hall of Fame’s first class in 1987, also coached Montana State and Washington State before he was hired by Fresno State in 1976. He finished with 200 wins in 32 seasons as a head coach.

Sweeney was the head coach at Butte Central from 1952-54. He led the Maroons to the 1952 State title.

During Sweeney’s time with the Fresno State Bulldogs, they had 35 players selected in the NFL draft. Trent Dilfer and Henry Ellard were among his most prominent players.

Sweeney also spent time as an assistant coach with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Cardinals.

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