“Chase the ball to Tacoma”: Sacks pushes experienced Griz D-line


Since the day he first walked into the University of Montana’s football program, Grizzlies’ defensive line coach Barry Sacks has known how he’s wanted his charges to play.

“It’s quite a few things … getting off blocks, playing with great pad level, being violent when they play, and then chasing the ball, [even if] it’s up in Tacoma. Chase the ball to Tacoma,” Sacks said. “We’re going to chase the ball with a purpose. Not chase the ball because coach told me to chase the ball, chase the ball as if you’re going to make a difference in the football game.”

For a veteran defensive line, that effort could be the difference between living up to their potential — and blowing way past it.

To Sacks, and Montana head coach Bobby Hauck, the problem isn’t physicality, talent or skill. It’s just the simple act of pursuing every play.

Griz defensive line coach Barry Sacks blows the whistle to start a play during the first day of spring practice at Washington-Grizzly Stadium on March 5, 2018. This will be Sacks’ first season as a coach for his alma mater/ by Lacey Young, for Skyline Sports.

Please Sign In To View Premium Content

Andrew Houghton is a freelance journalist living in Missoula. Photos by Jason Bacaj. All Rights Reserved. 

About Andrew Houghton

Andrew Houghton grew up in Washington, DC. He graduated from the University of Montana journalism school in December 2015 and spent time working on the sports desk at the Daily Tribune News in Cartersville, Georgia, before moving back to Missoula and becoming a part of Skyline Sports in early 2018.

    Recommended for you