HARDIN - Whether it's on a basketball court or outdoors pursuing cross country excellence, Cindy Farmer is seemingly always busy.
"You know, I just love it. I love coaching," Farmer told MTN Sports during a recent open gym in Hardin. "l love helping the kids."
Farmer was among five 2021 inductees to the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame Thursday morning in Great Falls, joining George Nelson, Les Meyer, Larry Henderson and Dell Muechel.
Entering her 23rd year of teaching and coaching in Hardin, Farmer's state championship plaques for cross country and girls basketball and seem to take up one third of the school's trophy case.
"It's the kids, I'll tell you," she said, deflecting credit.
Five Class A championships, including four straight for the cross country girls and one in girls basketball, highlight Farmer's resume. In cross country, her Bulldogs showcase four boys state trophies (one third and three runner-up finishes) and five girls state trophies, including those championships in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Farmer has led the basketball Bulldogs to six state trophies, including five Class A state championship games, while sharing the title in 2020.
Its easy for outsiders to see why she's being inducted, though Farmer says she didn't see it coming.
"I thought they got the wrong number (when they called)," she laughed. "Then I'm like, it's just unbelievable."
Farmer's initial teaching and head coaching stop was in Poplar. She has a double major in physical education and business, but Poplar didn't offer a business curriculum. After three years, she saw the position open in Belfry and off she went -- also wading into the deep end of coaching.
"I did almost everything," she said. "I was the boys head basketball coach for two years, the athletic director, then of course girls basketball, volleyball, track."
The only reason Farmer likely didn't coach cross country in Belfry was because they didn't offer it.
When the girls basketball job opened in Hardin, she jumped on it. And while the school has yet to hang its latest girls championship banner in the gym rafters, her most memorable was the first one five years ago in girls cross country. What were the odds it would come down to a pair of Bulldog teams?
"It was us and Whitefish," she recalled. "They had on these bright yellow uniforms so you could just see them everywhere. Then they announced who got third, and said second place, Bulldogs... and their (Hardin runners) faces just fell. Then they said Whitefish (placed second) and oh my gawd, they (Hardin's girls) just were...."
Elated. That was the start of four in a row.
Right now, Farmer is managing off-season workouts early in the morning for her cross country teams and afternoon gym time for the basketball girls. And she wouldn't have it any other way.
"I can't imagine what I'd be doing if I wasn't coaching. Even now, in the summer, if somebody calls and wants the gym open, or wants to get a run in on the track, I'm there in 10 or 15 minutes."
Usually on two wheels -- riding her bicycle -- and always busy.