BILLINGS - Montana Football Hall of Fame inductee Dane Storrusten isn't a former NFL or college player. He's an outstanding artist.
Storrusten, who grew up in Great Falls, founded Gridiron Labs, a design studio targeting his football passion from youth all the way to the NFL.
Five years ago, the NFL took notice of his tremendous work and approached Storrusten to help reshape its brand presence on TV, digital and mobile platforms. That offer led to work both behind the cameras and on the field building graphics for shows like Thursday Night Football, NFL GameDay, Total Access, and RedZone, among others.
And it's award-winning stuff. A couple years ago in 2020, Storrusten and his team won a Sports Emmy Award for work on their NFL 100 Anniversary campaign.
But one of his fondest and most memorable lifetime memories goes back to age 12. Storrusten recalls shooting hoops at a hotel in Wichita, Kansas, when his idol, NFL Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders, walked up and asked him to "pass the rock." No crowds, managers or agents. Just the two of them shooting around for 45 minutes or so without so much as a word about football, as Storrusten remembers it.
Fast forward to college when he was offered a baseball scholarship at Washington State, but instead shifted to the Art Institute of Seattle. It turned out to be a great move, eventually leading to a job as Creative Vice-President of the NFL.
These days Storrusten is living in the San Diego area married with children, and eager to use his NFL platform to help elevate youth football and underprivileged programs around the country.
Montana's 2022 Football Hall of Fame class will be inducted June 25 at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center.