DRUMMOND — Saturday's lopsided 44-6 victory over Scobey in the 8-Man football state championship was a storybook ending for Mike Cutler’s coaching career with the Drummond-Phillipsburg Titans, winning his third 8-Man state title in the past four years.
"I wish everyone that watches the news (Saturday) could experience what I’m experiencing right now," said Cutler. "Great group of kids. Great group of parents. Great day. Great communities. I couldn’t be prouder about what happened here (Saturday) and what’s been going on with Titan football for the last four years.”
Cutler took over as the Titans' head coach in 2017, but his time with the co-op dates back to 2014 when he helped the two rival schools join forces with assistant coach J.C. Holland, who also retired after Saturday’s state championship.
"It wasn’t easy," added Cutler. "J.C. Holland has as much to do with this than any of us, if not more. (Drummond and Philipsburg) were both about to go to 6-Man and neither community wanted to do that.”
While Saturday’s win marked Cutler’s third state title in four years, it also capped off a perfect 12-0 season for the Titans. During his four years as head coach, the program lost a total of four games.
“When it’s all said and done, it’s just a football game, but, boy, does it mean a lot when kids, families, my wife work as hard as they do to get to this point and take advantage of it," said Cutler. "It’s special.”
Before kickoff, Cutler spent a few moments at midfield soaking it all in, preparing himself for what was going to be his last football game as a coach and the last game he’d ever coach his son Kade.
“It’s been a pleasure to coach Kade Cutler," said Coach Cutler. "He’s been around football his entire life. I get after him as hard as, or harder, more than anybody. I couldn’t be more prouder."
“I don't think I’ve seen my dad cry more than five times in my whole life," said Kade Cutler. "That’s something I’ll definitely take with me and just how much it meant to him.”
Kade is headed to Montana State next year for football, which played a major factor in Coach Cutler’s decision to retire this season.
"I’m sure he’ll still be coaching me a little bit and giving me tips," added Kade. "I know I’ll always have him in my corner. It will be different, but (Montana State coach Jeff) Choate, he’s a very good guy. My dad and him are very close. He’s someone I respect a ton, and I’m very excited to play for him.”
While the elder Cutler may be switching from standing on the sidelines to sitting in a stadium seat, he couldn’t be more excited for this next journey.
"I get to be that fan up in the stands that knows everything," quipped Coach Cutler."I’m just looking forward to watching Kade grow. He couldn’t do that at any better place than Montana State under the leadership of Jeff Choate. I’m happy that I get to go watch him and cheer on the Bobcats.”