Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - He’s an iconic presence at each University of Montana football, basketball, volleyball game, and just about any other Grizzly sporting event, and as the Grizzly Football Team recently competed for a national championship, so will the beloved mascot Monte, along with the UM Dance Team.

UM's Mascot Monte will Compete in Florida for National Honors

KGVO News caught up with Monte, both in and out of character, and was privy to some inside information about (and who could argue) America’s favorite mascot.

KGVO asked Monte about the special appearances he makes at schools, hospitals, and other charity appearances.

“Oh, those are some of my favorite things to do,” he said. “Not only supporting and showing our great pride throughout the great state of Montana but getting to spread joy and getting to impact people's lives is just really something especially being able to ‘high-five’ everybody and give out hugs and make people laugh? Oh my gosh, it's really cool.”

The 'Classics National Competition' will be in Orlando Florida

KGVO: Tell us about the competition you and the UM Dance Team will be participating in.

“It’s called The Classics National Competition, and it’s a pretty rigorous experience,” Monte said. “They test us on our knowledge, our love of the craft, they test us on our strength and our flexibility. It's going to be a ‘hoot and a holler’ and we're actually going down with the UM Dance Team who is competing in nationals for the first time in team history, so it’s a really big deal for them. But for myself, I'm just going to do my thing, you know?”

Monte is a 'Bear of Few Words' but He Loves the Griz and the Crowds

KGVO: Monte, what does being the official mascot for the University of Montana mean to you?

“Everyone that comes means the world to me,” said Monte. “The love and the support and appreciation that I (Monte) get it's honestly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I wouldn’t want to be cheering for any other school in America.”

The College Classic 2024 will be held in Florida on April 12 and 13 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Monte said he hopes to bring home the championship trophy to Missoula so that it can be near the Great Divide Trophy that currently resides in an honored place in the UM Champions Center.

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Gallery Credit: Jesse James

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