In 2012, I wrote a column for Butte Sports calling today’s guest the man who saved Montana football.

It wasn’t hyperbole.

With some high-profile off-field issues that cost the coach and athletic director their jobs, Delaney, then closing in on 70, decided to put his retirement on hold and stabilize the program. He coached the team three years, closing with two straight wins over Montana State. That run proved to be a great ending to an incredible career.

The 1961 Butte Central graduate led Great Falls High to the state title in 1974. He also coached some state championship teams in wrestling. He went to Montana State to coach with Sonny Lubick before taking over as AD at Montana Tech.

After running the pizza side of the Vu Villa, Coach Delaney returned to the sideline to serve as head coach and AD at Montana Western. After two years, he left to join Lubick at Colorado State, and he was part of a staff that went on an unprecedented run of success in Fort Colins.

The rest, as they say, is history. Now 80, Coach Delaney and his wife Cheri are retired and living in the Mining City. When they aren’t traveling to play golf, that is.