MILES CITY — The Stanton family shared a special weekend in mid-November, as Rob’s Billings West team won the Class AA title on Friday and his brother Jim’s Billings Central team won the Class A title on Saturday. Jim’s son James was lucky enough to soak both in.
“He coached Friday night for us. Then he traveled to Hamilton and saw him win a state championship. In fact, he was on the sideline for that, too. He got to experience both of them. That’s a memory we’ll have forever. November 17 November 18 for him, so it’s pretty special.”
The brothers are back on the sidelines together for the first time in more than a decade at this weekend’s Knights of Columbus Badlands Bowl in Miles City, with Rob head coaching and Jim as an assistant. It’s more than just a coaching reunion, even though the two live in the same town.
“I think any time you get a chance to come out here and spend a week with one of your siblings at this point it’s really a great time. A lot of times during the season and even throughout the year we don’t do any football things together, so this is a good opportunity to learn from each other.”
“We don’t get to see each other a ton even though we live in the same town because we’re so busy with everything else. We’re constantly cheering for each other kind of inside about hoping their teams do well and vice versa. It’s nice to come out here and spend some time with him, as well as the other coaches.”
This weekend will have its own special meaning, too. The Last time Rob and Jim were on the Badlands staff together, their late brother Dan was also on the staff. Dan was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2007 and ultimately lost his bout with it in 2015.
Dan would return to the sidelines, though, and lead Miles City to Class A titles in 2008 and 2010. Coaching together back in Dan’s hometown is a moment the brothers will cherish.
“He really was passionate about this game. He participated in this game, coached in this game. This is his home. It’s a blessing that we can do it, because there’s things that happen in life. In his case, obviously, he’s not around to do that, so taking every opportunity we can have to do something like this and share some time together is pretty awesome.”
“This is his hometown, his hometown that he loved. We constantly think of him, and every day that we’re up, that’s one of the first thoughts that comes into our brain is our brother Dan. He’s beloved by the community. It’s nice that not only is the game here, and he had a big part of it, whether he was coaching it or volunteering and doing other things, we’re also coaching in Miles City and game will be at Dan Connors field, so it’ll be special.”
The Stanton brothers will look to lead Montana to its fifth consecutive win in the series and 20th overall. Kickoff is Saturday night at 6 p.m in Miles City at Connors Stadium.