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After leading Florence to three straight Class B state football titles, Pat Duchien steps down

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Posted at 5:31 PM, Feb 01, 2024

MISSOULA — After leading the Florence Falcons to three straight Class B state football championships, head coach Pat Duchien is calling it a day.

Duchien, who coached for 12 years at Florence including the last seven as head coach, has resigned as head football coach of the program. Duchien submitted his letter of resignation to the school on Thursday, both he and Florence-Carlton High School confirmed with MTN Sports.

In his resignation letter, Duchien thanked the school for the support he'd received over the years as a coach.

"I have made many friends along the way, but most importantly the reciprocated love between a lot of players, current and former, I will cherish for the rest of my life," Duchien wrote. "To all the players that did the hard things we asked of you, thank you! That will carry us farther down our path than any ring or trophy we acquired. To all the supporting parents and grandparents, as well as community members, thank you with all my heart!

"By stepping away from the head coach position, this will allow my focus to be more on my Christian Faith, as well as allow me time to focus on my wife and two sons. I wish you all much success in finding a replacement."

Duchien's resignation brings the end of a decorated coaching tenure that brought unprecedented success to Florence's program while making history in the process.

Florence won three straight Class B state titles from 2021-23 and made the semifinals in 2020 where it narrowly fell to Fairfield, 8-6.

In 2021 when the Falcons were victorious over Bigfork 42-0, it was Florence's first state football championship since 1977 when the program was 8-Man. The Falcons went on to beat Missoula Loyola, 48-7, in 2022 and won an overtime thriller over Manhattan this past fall, 21-14.

The Falcons became the first Class B program to ever three-peat in football when they defeated the Tigers.

Duchien was hired as an assistant coach in 2012 and was promoted to head coach in 2017. He went 61-17 in his tenure as head coach. The Falcons made the playoffs every year Duchien was in charge.

Duchien confirmed with MTN Sports that he will still be the head coach for the West team in the 77th Montana East-West Shrine Game which is set for June 15 in Billings. Duchien was an assistant coach in the game last summer.