Bob Stitt

Montana head coach Bob Stitt

Tommy Martino, Missoulian

After a dozen practices and two scrimmages, the Montana Grizzlies gathered for the final time Friday before Saturday's Grizzly Spring Game wraps up spring drills.

And the Griz coaches (mostly) took the day off.

"The players are gonna run the entire practice and we'll just sit in the stands," Griz head coach Bob Stitt said.

Stitt said he wanted his seniors to take over on Friday to set the tone for further player-only sessions throughout the summer. That's the time when players from programs across the country may engage in voluntary workouts during which contact from coaches is restricted.

So Stitt and company are trying to create a built-in coaching network among the Griz.

"We give them some structure, but it's up to them," Stitt said of Friday's final session. "We're not gonna be out here in the summer and we're anxious to see who steps up and does lead."

The strategy is well-received at other programs, though Stitt said it's not something he's done much in the past -- especially at his old job at Division II Colorado School of Mines.

"I didn't do it at Mines because the majority of our guys were in (engineering) internships during the summer," the coach quipped.

The annual Grizzly Spring Game begins at 1 p.m. Saturday from Butte High School's Naranche Stadium and will be televised statewide by SWX Montana. 

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