Westby-Grenora coach Troy Walters giver instruction in the 2016 6-Man state championship. (ANDY HANNUM/For MTN Sports)

FORT SHAW – The Montana Coaches Association announced its fall 2017 coach of the year winners on Monday, honoring 21 mentors from across the state of Montana. 18 of the 21 led their program’s to state championships this fall.

Coaches must be MCA members to qualify for the awards.

Billings Senior football coach Chris Murdock won the Class AA coach of the year on the gridiron after leading the Broncs to a second straight 13-0 season. Senior has a current win streak of 26 games heading into next season. Murdock has coached Montana’s Gatorade player of the year in each of the past two seasons, Nate Dick last fall and Gabe Sulser this year.

Trevor Utter led Class B Eureka to back-to-back football championships, posting an unblemished record this year. Utter and the Lions topped Shelby in the Class B title game. Westby-Grenora coach Troy Walters led the Thunder co-op to its first 6-Man state championship, defeating Bridger in the finale. Walters and his MonDak program were undefeated this fall.

Story continues below

Bryce Carver of Hamilton and Shawn Hollowell of Forsyth were honored as the Class A and 8-Man coaches of the year after runner-up finishes this season.

All four state championship winning volleyball coaches garnered the award from the MCA. Missoula Sentinel won its second straight Class AA title, leading Erin Keffeler to the award. Former Billings Senior multi-sports standout Kylie (Kufeld) Reitz led Billings Central to the State A championship.

Iona Stookey and Huntley Project have won 10 Class B volleyball titles since 2003. Stookey, who was inducted into the MCA hall of fame last year, added another coach of the year honor to her impressive resume.

Ennis mentor Betty Klein earned the honor on the Class C courts after her Mustangs completed their revenge tour, knocking off Belt in a state championship rematch from last fall.

Bozeman once again dominated the Class AA cross country scene, winning both the boys and girls state titles this season. Casey Jermyn led both programs to first-place campaigns. John Sillitti did the same at Manhattan, guiding the Tigers to state trophies in both boys and girls cross country.

Corvallis’ Joanne Cleveland, Manhattan Christian’s Nate TeSlaa, Hardin’s Cindy Farmer and West Yellowstone’s Amy Freed were each honored in their respective classifications.

Billings West finished runner-up in the Class AA boys golf championships, but record-setting Joey Moore and the Golden Bears helped Marcus Drange split the MCA award with Lance Olson of Great Falls High. The Bison and Bears tied for second place in the State AA invitational. Matt Clark of state championship Bozeman took the honor in girls Class AA.

Laurel’s Jim O’Neil and Sidney’s Benjamin Berg, each state championship winners this fall, won the Class A golf honors.

The complete list of MCA fall 2017 coach of the year winners is below.

Football
Class AA: Chris Murdock, Billings Senior
Class A: Bryce Carver, Hamilton
Class B: Trevor Utter, Eureka
8-Man: Shawn Hollowell, Forsyth
6-Man: Troy Walters, Westby-Grenora

Volleyball
Class AA: Erin Keffeler, Missoula Sentinel
Class A: Kylie Reitz, Billings Central
Class B: Iona Stookey, Huntley Project
Class C: Betty Klein, Ennis

Boys cross country
Class AA: Casey Jermyn, Bozeman
Class A: Joanne Cleveland, Corvallis
Class B: John Sillitti, Manhattan
Class C: Nate TeSlaa, Manhattan Christian

Girls cross country
Class AA: Casey Jermyn, Bozeman
Class A: Cindy Farmer, Hardin
Class B: John Sillitti, Manhattan
Class C: Amy Freed, West Yellowstone

Boys golf
Class AA: Marcus Drange, Billings West
Class A: Jim O’Neil, Laurel

Girls golf
Class AA: Matt Clark, Bozeman
Class A: Benjamin Berg, Sidney

LEAVE A REPLY