For Vince Huntsberger, being apart of a team is something he loves.
From winning the Division I-AA National Championship with the University of Montana in 2001 to saving lives at Bonner General Health in Sandpoint, working with others to achieve a common goal has become second nature to Vince.
And this past Friday in Missoula, Vince was recognized for his efforts on the football field by being elected into the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame.
“It was a huge honor for him to be recognized in this way by the University of Montana,” Vince’s wife, Amelia Huntsberger, said.
Vince’s list of accomplishments on the gridiron at Montana goes on forever. Along with winning a national title with the Grizzlies, Vince helped lead the team to four consecutive Big Sky titles and a 45-10 record as a four-year starter at safety. He was a three-time All-American and received the conference’s defensive MVP award twice.
Vince, a Libby, Montana native, is also the only UM player to ever receive a vote for the Heisman Trophy.
Despite his individual success, Vince said none of it would have been possible without his teammates.
After finishing his football career at Montana, Vince played arena football for a year before ultimately deciding it was time for him to take his shoulder pads off for the final time.
“I knew my playing days were over,” he said.
Eventually, Vince found his way to the medical school at University of Washington where he met his wife.
Amelia said it took some time before she became aware of the impact Vince had as a college football player.
“We had been dating for quite awhile and were in a pretty serious relationship and he hadn’t actually told me that he had played college football or that he was a standout on his team,” she said.
Instead, Amelia learned about Vince’s time on the football field from one of his friends, which shows how humble he is, she said.
After completing medical school at the UW in 2008, Amelia and Vince both headed to the University of Michigan for their residency training and seven years ago they moved to Sandpoint.
Vince is now an ER physician at Bonner General Health and Amelia is an OB-GYN at Sandpoint Womens Health.
Prior to this season, Vince was on the Sandpoint High School football coaching staff for five years. He enjoyed every second of it but the time commitment of being a coach proved to be a little too much for a husband and wife both working full time while raising three kids so he had to give it up.
“He feels like he got a lot out of football and wanted to find ways to give back and provide the benefits he received as a player to kids,” Amelia said about Vince’s SHS coaching stint.
As an ER physician, Vince operates under a high-stress environment regularly while communicating with a number of different individuals, which is something he learned playing football.
“I think being a good football player and being apart of a team and really being able to work within that team whether its a football team or a emergency department or anything else, has been really translatable to my current career,” he said. “There are times in the emergency department where there’s life and death situations so I think its helped me a ton in my career in medicine.”
With all that Vince has accomplished so far in his life, it would be easy for him to gloat but that’s just not who he is.
“It’s very typical for my husband, who is not somebody whose going to brag about himself,” Amelia said. “He’s done a lot of really great things but he’s not going to toot his own horn and I admire that.”