CHURCHILL — Jeff Bellach has coached in seven different state basketball tournaments during his career.
In 2019, he’ll try to coach in two in the same season.
Bellach, who has guided the Manhattan Christian boys to the state tournament the past four seasons, will also coach the Eagles’ girls team next year. Dan Chesnet of the Belgrade News first reported Bellach’s hiring.
Manhattan Christian’s boys have placed second at each of the past two Class C state tournaments, losing to Arlee in the championship game both years. Bellach has 10 years of head coaching experience, spending his first five seasons as the coach of the Three Forks girls. The Wolves qualified for three Class B state tournaments under Bellach’s tutelage.
In his 10 seasons, Bellach has compiled an overall record of 170-64 with seven state tournament appearances. Manhattan Christian’s boys were 24-4 last season, losing twice to Arlee and twice to Class B opponents.
“It’s been fun and I’ve been blessed with great kids and mentors along the way,” Bellach told MTN Sports. “It’s a great game for so many reasons. Excited to go at the double duty and thankful for great assistants past and present.”
Bellach is a Kent, Wash. native and played collegiately at Montana Tech from 1995-99. He helped lead the Orediggers to back-to-back Frontier Conference championships in 1998 and 1999. He made a program-record 375 3-pointers during his career, finishing with 1,778 points.
Bellach started his coaching career at Three Forks, where he was an assistant boys coach for seven years before leading the girls program. He’s coached his son, Caleb, the past three seasons at Manhattan Christian. Caleb Bellach will be a senior next year and is widely considered one of the best players in Montana.
The Manhattan Christian girls are coming off a 17-7 season that saw them win the District 11C championship before finishing fourth at the Western C divisional tournament. Scott Wolf coached the MCHS girls for three seasons but did not have his contract renewed after last season, according to Chesnet.