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Originally published Tuesday, October 4, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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College football notebook: Former Montana coach dies

Jack Swarthout, a former Montana coach and athletic director, has died. Mr. Swarthout, who had been battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma in recent...

Jack Swarthout, a former Montana coach and athletic director, has died.

Mr. Swarthout, who had been battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma in recent years, died Saturday in Olympia. He was 85.

Mr. Swarthout coached the Grizzlies from 1967 to 1975 and guided Montana to back-to-back 10-0 regular seasons in 1969 and 1970. Both teams lost in the Camellia Bowl, which crowned the small-college national champion.

"He was one of the classiest people I've known in my life," said Pat Dodson, an assistant coach during Mr. Swarthout's tenure. "He was a great football mind. He surrounded himself with outstanding people. He's one of the greatest coaches that the Grizzlies ever had."

Mr. Swarthout's final visit to Missoula came last November, when he was honored during a halftime celebration.

His coaching career began at Hoquiam High School in the late 1940s and finished at Capital High School of Olympia in 1992, when he coached the school's ninth-grade team.

He also was an assistant at Washington and Texas, along with his tenure at Montana.

"All of us lost a father in Jack; he meant a lot to all of us," said Robin Peters, a star defensive back for the Grizzlies from 1968 to 1971. "A lot of us are the way we are because of Jack."

Before Mr. Swarthout took over, the Grizzlies had just two winning seasons in the previous 21 years. He finished 51-41, ranking second behind Don Read in career wins. A former Grizzlies player from 1939 to 1941, Mr. Swarthout guided Montana to its first Big Sky Conference title in 1969.

Two Oregon State players face charges

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Two Oregon State players and a former teammate have been charged with providing alcohol to an 18-year-old, who later was found dead with more than five times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.

Lance Strickland's body was found in an unoccupied dorm room over Labor Day weekend with a blood-alcohol level of .43 percent, officials said.

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Michael Marks and Gregg Peat, both 18, have been charged with two counts of giving alcohol to Strickland and another man, said Scott Heiser, Benton County district attorney.

A former member of the team, John Ronnfeldt, 21, faces four counts of furnishing alcohol to Strickland, Marks, Peat and another man.

Ronnfeldt and Marks were arraigned yesterday and released.

Notes

• Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick apologized for making an obscene gesture to fans during Tech's 31-17 win at West Virginia. "What I did was wrong, and I am sorry," said Vick, younger brother of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. "My goal is to be a leader of this team and do things the right way."

• Tennessee quarterback Rick Clausen wore a walking boot to protect his left Achilles tendon but expects to play against Georgia.

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