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Montana Western inducts 2014 Hall of Fame members

The University of Montana Western kicked off its Homecoming weekend Saturday, Sept. 20, by welcoming new members into its athletic Hall of Fame.

Montana Western inducted Stanley Johnston, Kelly Carras Krank, Katie Ryan Howells, Max Nield and the 1963 football team during a ceremony on the University of Montana Western campus. The inductees were also introduced during halftime of that day’s football game versus MSU-Northern.

Stanley Johnston graduated from the University of Montana Western, which used to be Western Montana College, in 1981. After earning his bachelor’s degree in sports medicine, he went on to get his master’s degree at Montana State University in 1985. Stanley worked with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1985-2007 as an athletic trainer. Now he is the head athletic trainer at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He and his wife Tawni have two sons and two daughters.

Kelly Carras Krank earned her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in special education from Montana Western in 2002. While at UMW, Krank played volleyball from 1998-2000 and was an all-conference selection, most inspirational player and most valuable player. After college, she taught for eight years in special education and second grade and coached middle and high school volleyball. She now stays home with her kids while attending grad school in Colorado. Her and her husband have two children, Nora, 4, and Selvin, who is 11 months.

Katie Ryan Howells earned her bachelor’s degree in Business with an emphasis on health and fitness management from UMW in 2006. While playing volleyball during college, Howells racked up quite a few honors. She was academic all-conference, first team all-conference and set the school record for most kills in a season. Also, she was first team all-region and All-American honorable mention. In 2002, she married her husband Craig and had their daughter Ryan in 2003. The couple then had a son in 2005. Currently, Howells works at Computers Unlimited in Billings, where she tests software.

When Howells and Krank played for the UMW volleyball team, it was the first time in the university’s history that the volleyball team qualified for the regional tournament.

Max Nield will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for his meritorious service. Nield transferred from Ricks College in Idaho to UMW played baseball and basketball from 1957-58. During the 1957-58 season, the men’s basketball team attended the NAIA National Tournament. After earning his degree in 1958, he began teaching and coaching at Townsend, Mont. He then moved to Valier and then to Dillon, where he taught English and coached for 18 years. He also owned East Bench Grain and Machinery, Inc. till January 2014. Nield has been married to his wife Barbara for 60 years. They have three children, eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

The 1963 football team went undefeated and won the conference. 

The team included: Floyd Dahlman, Bobby Sullivan, Bob Burk, Cliff Neighbors, Rick Cadieux, Dick Maroney, Fred Salmonsen, Dale Combs, Walt Musgrove, Larry Veis, Bud Talbott, Garry Pace, Jim Netz, Wayne Christensen, Bill Donovan, Jerry Fitzsimmons, Gary McMorris, Mick Delaney, Wayne Allen, Rod McClellan Ray Cyr, Jerry Melton, Ken Walt, Len Mackling, Mel Wattula, Gary Douglas, Fred Cobell, Joe Holt, Jim Bennetts, Jim Sumner, Bill Kuka, Gene Albright, Dick Doyle and Jack Nielsen.

The team was coached by head coach Frank Hoey, Cecil Kent and Pat Delger.

This year’s inductees will be honored during a brunch ceremony in the Lewis and Clark Room in Mathews Hall. Tickets for the brunch ceremony are available for $10. Call the UMW Alumni Office at 406-683-7305 to reserve tickets.