GREAT FALLS — On March 8, the Great Falls Public Schools announced the new head football coach of the Great Falls High Bison to be six-year assistant and wide receivers coach, Coda Tchida.
Tchida will take the reins from recently retired former head coach, Mark Samson, who used to be Tchida’s college coach at MSU-Northern where Tchida was a standout at wide receiver.
“He’s been such a great mentor for me,” Tchida said. “Not only for these past six years but I’ve known Coach Samson since I was 18-years-old when he came to recruit me in my parent’s house so he means a lot to me.”
This will be the Havre native’s second stint as a head coach. Prior to Great Falls High, Tchida was the athletic director and head coach of Malad High School in Idaho.
“After I student taught at Bozeman High School under coach Troy Purcell, I do remember one thing that he said. He told me ‘If you want to be a head coach, you have to be a head coach, so when the opportunity came for me to be a head coach in Malad City, Idaho and athletic director at 25-years-old, I was like ‘that’s a pretty good opportunity’ and I couldn’t turn it away,” Tchida said.
Six years ago, when the Great Falls High football head coaching was last open, Tchida applied and unbeknownst to him, was competing for the job against Samson. After he lost out on the job to his former head coach, he was brought on to be an assistant coach on offense in charge of the wide receiver group, a decision that proved fruitful for Tchida in the long run.
“I’ve always taken pride in being the assistant coach here at Great Falls High,” Tchida explained. “I’ve always said being the head coach of the wide receiver group the past six years has been such a blessing for me and it’s helped me become a better coach overall so I really can’t complain about anything.”
When the news broke to the current Great Falls High players, there was nothing but excitement for their new head coach.
“I’m more than excited for the opportunity but I can tell on their faces when it all go announced that they’re jacked up and ready to go. They were jumping around. That means more to me than anything but we’re going to take thing to a whole other level; that’s my goal.”
Tchida will continue his duties as the spring coach for the Great Falls High track and field team.