Malta activities director Scott King (left) is presented with the 2017 MIAAA athletic director of the year award from Colstrip's Mark Ator. (Photo courtesy: Montana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association)

BOZEMAN – Scott King was named the 2017 Montana Interscholastic Activity Administrators Association athletic director of the year on Sunday. King became the first Malta AD to earn the honor.

“I was surprised. It’s nice to be recognized by your peers for the longevity and the work you do with your athletics program,” King said. “I’m just proud to be considered among the athletic directors of our state that have won this award previously to me. There are some great individuals that have been athletic director of the year. There are some outstanding athletic directors, or activity directors, that have not won this award. It’s humbling, and it was surprising, but I guess it’s a reward for hanging in there. This is my 37th year in education, and a lot of those years were serving in some capacity in our activities program, whether through coaching or as the activities director.”

King, who broke into the football coaching ranks at Harlem High School, spending four years with the Wildcats, joined the staff in Malta and spent nearly 30 years on the coaching staff before retiring in 2013. The Mustangs qualified for the postseason 24 consecutive seasons under King’s tutelage, winning state titles in 1996, 2000 and 2006. Malta also finished runner-up four times.

King is credited with reaching 200 wins, one of only a handful of Montana football coaches to reach the feat. He credits the Malta community for the Mustangs’ and M-ettes’ success throughout the calendar year.

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“We’re very fortunate here at Malta. We have a community that really supports our school system, and it supports our activities programs, specifically,” King said. “I think people really recognize the idea that we’ve had a successful athletics program, but when you talk activities, you’re talking music, you’re talking speech and drama, you’re talking our clubs. We’ve been fortunate with our music programs and speech and drama, they have good leaders. Our kids have a great experience and have an opportunity to really experience the best that the MHSA, in those events, has to offer.”

Malta has been one of the most successful Class B programs on the playing surfaces, as well as in music and speech and drama. The Mustangs overcame a third-place finish at the Northern B Divisionals last year to win the State B title, defeating Anaconda in Billings. It was the Mustangs’ third boys basketball title since 2012.

The Malta girls also played in last season’s state basketball championship, finishing runner-up. The M-ettes own 10 girls basketball championships, including three since 2010. The Malta girls were also crowned 2016 Class B state track and field champions and finished third last season. The Mustangs’ wrestling program captured a first-place finish at a challenging Class B tournament in Choteau over the weekend, and has a number of ranked wrestlers in the coaches’ polls.

King has been involved in hundreds of the wins and championships, whether from the sidelines or the office of the activities director. He says he remains most proud of the high percentage of students who participate in various activities offered at Malta High School.

“We’re a small school, just 132 students,” he said, “but a vast majority of our students are participants. Close to 90 percent of our students participate in activities in one setting or another, whether through athletics, music or drama.”

King was also named the 2016 Class B activity director of the year.

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