GREAT FALLS – The Montana Coaches Association has been holding coaching clinics at Great Falls CMR this week, starting on Wednesday and running through Friday.
On Thursday, the MCA awards program was held in the school’s auditorium. Many coaches from all over the state attended the event to accept coach of the year awards in their respective classes and sports. They’d each had opportunities to learn different strategies from each other in the clinics. As for the rewards they received, the coaches had a humble response.
“I don’t really like to take credit, mostly because great players make good coaches,” said Eric Peterson, who won Class AA coach of the year for Helena High girls basketball. “We have a lot of good players on our team and I try to stay out of their way and not mess them up too much. They’re the ones that deserve the awards. It’s more of a program award — my name will be on it but, it’s more of a program award.”
“(The MCA Coaches Clinic is a) great experience, I think, for all of us. We get a chance to sit in clinics and get a chance to learn a few things from guys who are pretty good in their profession, which is really fun,” said Dustin Kraske, who won Class A coach of the year for Havre girls basketball. “Get to spend some time out with colleagues that you compete against most of the time during the season. Then to have football, softball, wrestling, all of us guys together, it’s a great time to meet new people and say hello to old friends.”
The ceremony also inducted members into the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame. One such member that got inducted this year was former Great Falls High boys and CMR girls basketball coach Larry Lucero. Lucero was a coaching legend, coaching for 41 years, and bringing home three state championships, two by the Bison boys and one by the Rustler girls. He contributed his success to great coaching staffs and a goal that he always stuck by.
“I think this is good in a lot of things that you do, one of the goals was improve. I always said we’re going to get better by the end of the year. That was something we always thought was a way to measure success,” said Lucero. “That didn’t mean that you won everything, but if you improved and got better, to me that was a sign of success. Plus, if you have the right kids at the right time and you get a little luck, then you have a lot of success and then you get better and you win.”
For more on which coaches won coach of the year awards and who all was inducted into the MCA Hall of Fame, click this link: MCA 2018 Awards Banquet.