A warrior. A brother. A teammate. A father. A husband. A friend. Dave DeCoite is the epitome all of these roles. As a member of the Grizzly football team from 2000-2003, he manned one of the most punishing secondary’s that the Big Sky conference has ever seen. If you are too young to remember him or have forgotten him over the past decade, I encourage you to go re-acquaint yourself with the OG “Golden Helmet” award recipient (award handed out by coaches for the hardest hitter on the team). Dave came to Montana for a few reasons: his personal interests aligned with what Montana had to offer. Hunting, fishing, horseback riding and snowmobiling are things that Dave lives for and this beautiful state made doing all of these activities easy. Secondly, his brother was here, Dan DeCoite a linebacker for the Griz. And last but not least, as you will find out throughout the following conversation, this program won football games. Dave came here to win, period.
I had the pleasure to talk with Dave a few weeks ago to catch up and to see where life has taken him. Throughout the whole conversation I felt Dave’s insane energy, Dave has this aura about him that will force you to be awake, he is a human firecracker.
Where are you currently located? What are you doing for work?
“I’m living in Missoula bro! Duh! I am currently a foreman at Knife River which is a highway construction company. I have been back and forth between here and Alaska as of late.”
Have you heard of egriz.com? What are your thoughts and/or opinions of a fan site for Griz fans to gather and chat?
“Yes I have heard of it. I get on there every now and then and check some posts out. I love the site, the smack talk is sweet! Sometimes it is a bit much from a fan standpoint, but that is kinda the glory of getting online to talk trash!”
Describe your overall experience of being part of Griz nation.
“Epic. Legendary. It has been a blast to be a part of such a sweet organization, I have met a ton of friends and so many great people.”
Has Grizzly football helped you in any way now in life? What were the major influences of being a Griz?
“It most definitely has helped, you meet so many people which is huge. The experience as a whole and learning how to become a leader translates in everything I do. Taking that experience into the real world, people skills etc. Anything you do in life is a team effort, marriage, raising kids etc. it all takes a team effort.”
Are there any memories of Grizzly football that stand out the most? Is there a particular high or low that stands out in your memory?
“Obviously winning a National Championship was the biggest high point, losing one was the biggest low. As for memories, running out of the tunnel was ear deafening, that many people screaming their face off is AWESOME! If I had to choose one play that I remember the most it would have to be, Jimmy Farris catching that huge TD in the North endzone against Appalachian State to send us to the chipper.”
What was your experience like at the University of Montana athletically and academically?
“Athletically it was unbelievable, I wish everybody could have the chance to experience it. Academically it was a super great campus, campus was clean and classes were great. I did not get the chance to finish my Sociology degree because I had to start supporting a family.”
Thoughts on the current program?
“Looking from the outside in, it has seemed to slip. This football program has made a name for itself for being a classy and competitive program. The discipline that has been displayed from the top down is poor. Players are not coming here for the prestige of the program. Everyone in my era was here to win a National championship, nothing else mattered.”
The passion for the game, for the program still pumps through Dave’s blood. He excelled on the field because of his energy and is now harnessing that energy to succeed in every way in life.