FORT SHAW — Twelve high school coaches earned the Montana Coaches Association 2018 winter sports coach of the year honors earlier this week after leading their programs to state championships.
Kalispell Flathead wrestling coach Jeff Thompson earned the honor in the Class AA wrestling ranks after guiding the Braves to their second consecutive team title. Flathead held off Bozeman for the 2018 State AA championship this past February in Billings. It was the second consecutive coach of the year honor for Thompson.
Sidney’s Guy Melby added another coach of the year honor to his impressive resume after the Eagles snapped Havre High’s five-peat in the Class A wrestling world. Colstrip’s Codey Currier and Circle’s Ty Taylor were named Class B and Class C wrestling coaches of the year, respectively.
Arlee’s Zanen Pitts was honored as the Class C boys basketball coach of the year for the second consecutive season after the Warriors defeated Manhattan Christian 66-58 in the State C title game on Saturday, March 3. Arlee posted a perfect 26-0 record and has lost only one game in the past two seasons.
Helena High’s Eric Peterson was the other repeat coach of the year after leading the Bengals to back-to-back State AA championships. Helena High beat Missoula Sentinel in the title game for the second consecutive season, winning 53-49 in Billings earlier this month.
Sam Tudor and Mike Sauvageau led the Bigfork boys and Three Forks girls to undefeated seasons and Class B state championships. Tudor’s Vikings edged Shelby 60-56, while Sauvageau and the Wolves took down Colstrip 57-48 earlier this month in Missoula.
The Havre High girls also went unbeaten this season, holding off Hardin for the State A championship in Great Falls. Blue Ponies’ coach Dustin Kraske was named MCA coach of the year.
Hardin’s Andrew Roundface, Box Elder’s Joel Rosette and Great Falls CMR’s John Cislo also took home the honor after winning state basketball titles.
The MCA swimming coach of the year ballots will be contested in the spring.
Each coach will be honored at the 2018 Montana Coaches Association awards ceremony during the annual MCA Coaches Clinic in Great Falls. The ceremony is slated for Thursday, Aug. 2 at 11:30 a.m. at Great Falls CMR High School.
The complete list of coach of the year award recipients for the winter sports season can be found below.
Montana Coaches Association 2018 winter sports coaches of the year
Class AA: John Cislo — Great Falls CMR
Class A: Andrew Roundface — Hardin
Class B: Sam Tudor — Bigfork
Class C: Zanen Pitts — Arlee
Class AA: Eric Peterson — Helena High
Class A: Dustin Kraske — Havre
Class B: Mike Sauvageau — Three Forks
Class C: Joel Rosette — Box Elder
Class AA: Jeff Thompson — Kalispell Flathead
Class A: Guy Melby — Sidney
Class B: Codey Currier — Colstrip
Class C: Ty Taylor — Circle