LAUREL — Pat Hansen is stepping down as the head boys and girls basketball coach at Laurel.
Hansen has 24 years of coaching experience, including the past 14 coaching Laurel’s boys. He added the girls job to his duties prior to last season.
“I can’t tell you how difficult the decision was,” Hansen told MTN Sports Monday afternoon. “It was very, very hard. But I really want to spend more time with my family. You visit friends and relatives over the summer and they all have family pictures on the wall. All our family pictures seem to be basketball.”
In his first season coaching the Laurel girls, Hansen led the Locomotives to the Eastern A regular-season championship. They finished fourth at the super-divisional tournament and then advanced to the semifinal round at the Class A state tournament, where they lost to eventual state champion Havre. The Locos ultimately finished fourth, losing to Columbia Falls in the consolation final to finish their season with an 18-8 overall record.
Hansen’s daughter, Mya, was a freshman for the Locomotives, earning all-conference and all-state honors this past season when she averaged a team-high 13.4 points per game during the regular season. She also led the team in rebounds, assists and steals.
Now, Pat Hansen said he wants to appreciate spending time with his younger son Cy.
“I’ve spent 10 times the amount of time working with Mya,” he said. “I had a chance to watch Cy at a 3-on-3 tournament over the weekend and just thought, ‘I want to be able to spend a lot more time with him.’ Coaching two high school programs takes a big toll physically and emotionally. I’ll miss coaching, but I really look forward to family time.”
Hansen led the boys back to the Class A state tournament this past season, as well. The Locomotives finished fourth at the Eastern A super-divisional and then lost their first two games at the state tournament. Laurel finished with a 14-10 overall record.
Hansen informed school administrators Monday afternoon.
“The Laurel administration has been wonderful, they’ve given me a wonderful opportunity and I’m very thankful,” he said. “I wanted to let them know as early as possible so they can get a jump on hiring and to be fair to the kids.”
During his coaching career, Hansen has won three state championships. He won two Class A boys titles with Laurel, cutting down the nets in 2010 and 2015. He previously coached at Gardiner, guiding the Bruins to the 2005 Class C boys state championship.
MTN Sports’ Scott Breen contributed to this report.