SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Bob Raeth is bringing a national honor back to the Treasure State.
The longtime Kalispell Flathead shot put and discus coach was named the National High School Athletic Coaches Association boys assistant coach of the year on Wednesday at the annual NHSACA banquet. The event is part of the annual NHSACA coaches convention.
Raeth was a finalist for the honor in 2012 and 2015, and was the lone Montanan to win a national honor on Wednesday evening. Fourteen coaches and one administrator were finalists for the honors. Eight finalists from across the country are selected for each category, with a total of 19 winners honored at the banquet.
Raeth has coached for nearly 50 years, including three decades as the shot put and discus coach at Flathead. He also spent time as head football coach at Flathead for 10 years, as well as three seasons at Whitefish. His coaching career also saw time as an assistant wrestling coach at Great Falls CMR.
Former Helena Capital track and field, volleyball and gymnastics coach Shirley Chesterfield-Stanton was inducted into the NHSACA hall of fame on Tuesday, becoming the 30th Montana coach to earn the accolade.
Montana Coaches Association executive director Don Olsen was also recognized, garnering the Carey E. McDonald National Citation on Tuesday. This award is given by the NHASCA to “recognize persons of national renown who have made a unique contribution to high school, amateur or professional sports and/or the coaching profession … either as an individual or in a leadership role of a national or state organization.”
The complete list of Montana coaches recognized as finalists for the 2018 National High School Athletic Coaches Association coach of the year awards can be found below. Raeth, Olsen, Chesterfield-Stanton and the other finalists will all be honored at the Montana Coaches Association awards ceremony, Thursday, Aug. 2, at the 51st MCA Coaches Clinic in Great Falls.
2018 National High School Athletic Coaches Association coach of the year awards
* indicates national coach of the year
*Bob Raeth, Kalispell Flathead — Assistant coach of the year, boys
Dennis Murphy, Havre — Athletic Director
Paul Bills, Ennis — Assistant coach of the year, girls
Bob Howard, Great Falls High — Boys basketball
Dustin Gordon, Fairfield — Girls basketball
Rod Karst, Glasgow — Girls cross country
Jim Oberweiser, Drummond — Football
Pat Lynch, Manhattan — Golf
Carl Straub, Helena High — Soccer
Heather Epperly, Bigfork — Special sports
Helen Houlihan, Missoula Hellgate — Swimming and diving
Robert Hislop, Polson — Tennis
Rob Stanton, Billings West — Boys track and field
Jim Carroll, Conrad — Girls track and field
Scott Filius, Havre — Wrestling