Montana State University Receives Anonymous $1 Million Gift in Honor of Retired Coach Dale Kennedy


BOZEMAN – Montana State University and the Bobcats Athletic department announced a $1 million gift in support of the MSU track and field program in honor of former head coach Dale Kennedy this past Saturday.

The anonymous gift was made public at the celebration for the career of the well regarded Kennedy which was hosted by the Montana State Bobcat Club on MSU’s campus over the weekend.

The gift will provide necessary endowment resources to the track & field and cross country programs to help student-athletes excel both in the classroom and during competition. Also in honor of the donation, the head track and field coaching position will be formally named the Dale Kennedy Director of Track and Field/Cross Country, the first endowed coaching positions in a Big Sky Conference athletic department.

“We are grateful for this transformational gift to the track and field and cross country programs,” Leon Costello, MSU Director of Athletics said via the universities press release. “This endowment will provide funding to meet the strategic initiatives of the program and enhance the experience for its student-athletes. It is fitting it will bear the name of Dale Kennedy.”

Kennedy, who was part of the Bobcats track and field and cross country programs for almost four decades, announced his retirement at the end of last year’s outdoor season. He coached over 115 individual conference champions during the outdoor season and an additional 92 athletes during indoors.

“For me it was living out a dream,” Kennedy said in the school’s release. “It was all I could have really hoped that I could do with my career. I wanted to go somewhere, stay put and continue to develop a program. Along with that, the program developed me. It was a two-way street. It’s been really an honor to have been at Montana State and to have had this opportunity.”

When you combine his 37 indoor and outdoor seasons in charge of the MSU women’s track and field program, Kennedy’s teams completed top-three showings at the Big Sky meet 22 times. Add that to the combined 36 indoor and outdoor seasons during his 18 years with the men’s program that saw his squads placed among the top-three 14 times.  

Kennedy coached MSU to four conference championships during his time with the program. His women won the Big Sky Indoor Title in 2001 and the Outdoor Championships in 2003 while his men captured the Outdoor crown in 2005. The Bobcat women also took the top prize during the indoor season of 1983 in which the program was competing in the Mountain West Conference.

Kennedy was named the Big Sky Coach of the Year and Mountain West Coach of the Year all of those championship-winning seasons.

Montana State hosts the Big Sky Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships this Thursday-Saturday at the Worthington Arena in Bozeman.