New George Bandy Memorial Conference All-Sports Banners to be Unveiled
Montana Tech will unveil new George Bandy Memorial Conference All-Sports banners during the first media timeout of the men’s basketball game against Montana State University-Northern on Friday, January 17th. The banners commemorate Montana Tech receiving the award in 1987-88, 1989-90, 1990-91, and 1992-93.
The George Bandy Memorial Conference All-Sports Award is presented annually in the spring to the Frontier Conference School who has amassed the most points awarded based on league finish in each sport. Members of the Frontier Conference include Carroll College, Lewis-Clark State College, Montana Tech, Montana State-Northern, Rocky Mountain College, University of Great Falls; University of Montana Western, Westminster College, and Eastern Oregon (football only). Frontier athletes compete in football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s golf.
The All-Sports trophy is named in honor of the first Commissioner of the Frontier Conference, George Bandy. Mr. Bandy, his wife Cheryl Ann and their eight-year-old son Michael, whom they had just adopted two weeks earlier, died tragically in a boating accident in the summer of 1983 when their 14-foot sailboat overturned in high winds on Canyon Ferry Reservoir.
The majority of Mr. Bandy’s 56 years of life was devoted to education. A native of Sacramento, California, he graduate in 1944 from Folsom High School in Folsom, CA and immediately entered the U.S. Navy serving two years. Mr. Bandy earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sacramento State College in 1950 and 1953, respectively. He earned his doctorate in education from the University of Montana in 1967.
Mr. Bandy began his teaching career at Grant Union High School in Sacramento and in 1952 he moved to the Treasure State to coach and teach at Belgrade High School. He then joined the faculty of Northern Montana College in 1956 where he became the Light’s first football coach and over the years served as athletic director, dean of education and vice president. In July 1975, Mr. Bandy was named acting president.
One year later, Mr. Bandy went to Western Montana College as interim president until July 1978. He left Western to accept the position of Chief Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education. Bandy served as acting commissioner from September 1978 to the end of June 1979 when he retired. George was an accomplished athlete, playing football for the USC Trojans, and minor league baseball for the Great Falls Electrics, in addition to being a physical fitness advocate, Bandy was a long distance runner who took up running 26-mile marathons at the age of 50.
The George Bandy Memorial Frontier Conference All-Sports Award was first presented following the 1982-83 sports season.
In attendance for the unveiling will be George’s sons, Tom and John, and his daughter Kelly Maki. Tom graduated from Montana Tech in 1976 with a degree in petroleum engineering. He currently serves on the Montana Tech Foundation board. Each year, Montana Tech awards a scholarship in George Bandy’s name to a petroleum engineering student from Havre or Great Falls. The scholarship, which is in its second decade of awarding, was established by Tom and his wife Linda.
“Tom Bandy has had a wide-ranging and successful career in the oil business since graduating from Montana Tech in 1976,” noted Michael Barth, Executive Director of the Montana Tech Foundation. “He is a tremendous supporter of our campus. It is an honor to have him and his siblings in attendance as we hang new banners in our HPER commemorating Montana Tech’s four Bandy awards and honoring the memory of their late father, George Bandy.”
“My family and I are extremely proud that this award is has been created in our father’s name,” added Tom Bandy. “Our father served the vast majority of his career in the Montana Higher Education System - it’s fitting that these George Bandy All Sports banners are unveiled at a basketball between Montana Tech and Northern Montana College. It’s an honor to share this evening with everybody.”
For more information, please contact Amanda Badovinac, Montana Tech director of public relations, at 406-496-4828.