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Jay Jagelski steps down as Missoula Sentinel boys basketball head coach

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Posted at 10:56 AM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 14:53:04-04

MISSOULA -- After eight seasons as the head coach of the Missoula Sentinel boys basketball program, Jay Jagelski has resigned. Jagelski confirmed the news with MTN Sports on Tuesday.

"I've got an 8-year-old son and a 5-year-old son and they're starting to play more basketball," said Jagelski. "So, I'm starting to coach them. I felt like I needed to take a step back a little bit. I've already been coaching some of their games this year and I missed some and that killed me as a dad. It was time to go a different route."

Jagelski took over the program ahead of the 2012-13 season. In the eight seasons since, Jagelski and the Spartans advanced to the state tournament five times. In the earlier years, the Spartans exceeded expectations, something Jagelski is most proud of.

"What I enjoyed most was working with the kids," said Jagelski. "The offseasons were always fun, trying to help kids get better and develop them, improving them to their individual traits. In the last few years we started to get more talented, but in the early years we weren't always the most talented, but we worked hard. We always kind of overachieved in ways. That was always good to see."

However, as the Spartans got more talented in Jagelski's final years, they seemed to struggle more in the postseason.

In 2018, the Spartans captured the No. 1 seed out of the Western AA heading into the tournament before being ousted by the Eastern AA's No. 4-seeded Billings Senior Broncs in the first round.

In 2019-20, Jagelski's final season, the Spartans went an impressive 14-4 overall but lost in the opening round of the state tournament to Billings West.

Jagelski is done coaching high school hoops for the moment but will still coach his sons. When asked about the possibility of a return when they're older, he didn't rule that out. But he isn't thinking that far ahead, either.

"I love coaching. Coaching is awesome and fun, that's why I'm going to keep doing it," said Jagelski. "Whether I'm back in the future, I don't know. If there's another opportunity down the road as my kids get older maybe I'll do that. But I made this decision for right now rather than the future."