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Hardwood to courtside: Ennis coaches share Montana Western connection

Jared Smithson and Jordan Overstreet
Posted at 4:49 PM, Jan 21, 2021

ENNIS — From playing on the basketball court together to coaching on the sidelines, the Ennis coaching staffs for both boys and girls basketball are primarily made up of former Montana Western basketball players.

“When I played in college, I never thought I’d be coaching girls, but I really enjoy coaching girls," said Ennis girls head coach Jordan Overstreet. "They’re so coachable. They work hard.”

Overstreet is in his sixth year coaching the Ennis girls team, but before taking over the sidelines, he was taking over the game of basketball at Montana Western.

“They see me in practice shooting, they’re like, 'Holy cow, coach, you’re pretty good,'” Overstreet said.

He scored 1,112 points during his college career, joining the prestigious 1,000-point club that’s made up of only 11 other players at Western.

But before emerging as one of Montana Western’s best scorers, he was learning from Jared Smithson, who was a senior at the time and now coaches Ennis’ boys team.

Smithson's staff includes two more Montana Western alums: Cole Cavan and Walker McKitrick.

“With all three of them, we click really well," explained Smithson. "We get along. We make sure we’re doing everything we can for the kids just to put them in the best opportunity to be the best that they can. It just comes easy for us.”

While both Smithson and Overstreet share their Montana Western connection on the sidelines together, their relationship as friends takes them even further back.

“He was in third grade, I was in seventh grade, and we used to just call him the question master because he would just come up to us during games and just ask us question after question just trying to learn the game," Smithson recalled.

To add to the Montana Western connection, Overstreet's assistant head coach is also a former Bulldog.

Five out of the six coaches that make up Ennis’ boys and girls coaching staffs are former Montana Western athletes.

“The staff from boys to girls, we just really get along, and it’s just so fun having these guys," said Smithson. "We get to hang, be in school all the time together, you know, going to practices and seeing and helping each other with both of our programs, things that we see. We really can just build and we respect each other and listen to each other's advice.”