MISSOULA — A staple in the Montana basketball community is stepping down after more than two decades.
Karen Deden, who has been the girls basketball coach at Missoula Sentinel since 2000, is resigning from her position, Sentinel athletic director Brian Fortmann told MTN Sports.
Deden confirmed her decision with MTN Sports, saying she was retiring from coaching basketball. She let her team know of her decision earlier this week.
"After coaching 21 years at Sentinel and 25 overall, I feel like it is a good time," Deden told MTN Sports. "It is time to usher in a new era and I am excited to be the Sentinel girls basketball No. 1 fan."
Deden is one of the most decorated basketball players and coaches to come from the state of Montana. Deden was a standout player at Sentinel and graduated in 1987 before going on to a stellar career at Washington, where she graduated in 1991. At Washington, Deden scored 1,596 points and grabbed 912 rebounds for the Huskies in her time there along with 94 career blocks.
Prior to her time at Sentinel, Deden spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Oregon State. Before that, Deden spent five years playing basketball professionally in Japan, France and the American Basketball League.
During her time coaching the Spartans, Deden's teams went to the state championship game six times, winning three straight from 2012-14. Sentinel also advanced to the state championship game in 2011, 2017 and 2018.
Sentinel advanced to the State AA tournament this season before going 0-2 at the tournament.