Exactly half of the spring sports season coaching awards came west when the Montana Coaches Association announced its high school coaches of the year selections this week.
Western Montana schools received 10 of the 20 spring sports coaches awards as voted by their member peers.
Two of the awards were destined for Missoula. Dan Nile, coach of the Big Sky track and field program, and Dave Klein, Loyola Sacred Heart’s golf coach, each topped their sports’ classification after their boys teams did the same during the regular season. The Eagles won the State AA track championship while the Rams earned their fifth straight State B golf title.
Other area track coaches who received hardware were Derek Schulz, the coach for Class A Whitefish, Bret Thompson, a Class C coach at Charlo, and Spencer Huls, Corvallis’ coach at the Class A level. All three coached their programs to titles this past spring, the former pair on the boys’ side of the competition with the latter’s girls winning.
A trio of western Montana tennis coaches also won top honors after leading teams to championships. Josh Munro (AA Glacier boys), Bob Hislop (A Polson boys), and Mike Fehr (A Corvallis girls) were named top coaches. Hislop’s award was as a co-coach of the year with Billings Central’s Mary Housinger, whose team tied Polson for the state title.
The Loyola boys were also state champs for tennis, but an award was not listed for the B-C classification as released by the MCA. Rams coach Gayle Yamasaki led Loyola to its first boys’ tennis title in May.
After Frenchtown and Florence brought state softball titles back to the west side, their managers did the same with coach of the year awards this week. Eli Field of the A Broncs and Joe McKay of the B-C Falcons were named tops in their classes to wrap up the region’s winners.