The Golden Bobcats

Montana State and Sigma Chi boasts one of college basketball’s legendary teams, the Golden Bobcats of the late 1920s. The school’s basketball teams had acclaimed fame throughout that decade by playing “racehorse basketball,” becoming one of the first schools in the nation to employ what we know as the fast break. Montana State coach Ott Romney, [Sigma Chi, Utah 1912], later a graduate of MSC, pioneered that style of play and by 1926 had assembled a team perfectly suited to playing an up-tempo brand of ball. Cat Thompson, [Sigma Chi ’29], Frank Ward, [Sigma Chi ’30], Val Glynn, [Sigma Chi ’27], and Max Worthington, [SAE], for the heart of the Rocky Mountains’ best basketball team, as MSC won the Rocky Mountain Conference title three straight seasons, besting powerful outfits from Utah State, BYU, Colorado, and Denver U each season. The 1928-29 team reached college basketball’s zenith, defeating the AAU Champion [Kansas City] Cook’s Painters in a two-of-three series and steamrolling to the Rocky Mountain Conference title. [Starting for the Cats that year were Cat Thompson, Frank Ward, and Max Worthington mentioned above, as well as Orland Ward, Sigma Chi ’30, and John “Brick” Breeden, Sigma Chi ’29]. The team was named National Champions by the Helms Foundation, which also eventually named Cat Thompson one of the five greatest players in the first half of the 20th century in college hoops.