Missoula sports agent Ken Staninger, who represented hundreds of professional football players over the last 30-plus years, including many former Grizzlies, died Saturday of pancreatic cancer. The Stinger, as he was affectionately known, was 63.
Back in 2007, the Indy profiled Staninger leading up to Super Bowl XLI. One of his clients, offensive lineman Jake Scott, was starting in the game for the Indianapolis Colts, and Staninger was planning on attending. In his typical fashion, Staninger maintained a low-key and blue-collar approach to the event. In fact, he was combining it with a meeting with another prospective client.
The type of agent he was — a throwback, as I wrote at the time — is so important and admirable in a mega-popular sport that often lacks perspective these days. But Staninger stuck to his guns and managed to maintain his foothold in the business, representing workingman clients through the years like Scott, former Griz and current Philadelphia Eagle Colt Anderson, and Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien, just to name a few.
If you missed that story the first time, here's a link to it, in its entirety.
Services to celebrate Ken's life are scheduled for Sat., Feb. 2, at 2 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn. A reception will follow.
Top photo of Staninger in 2007 by Sarah Daisy Lindmark