SCOBEY — When asked how he felt to know he would be a Hall of Famer, Larry Henderson wasn't sure how to describe it.
"Oh, boy. I don't know, maybe humbling is one word. But just, I'm excited. Tickled to be considered with that group,” Henderson told MTN Sports via phone.
The longtime Scobey coach will be inducted into the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame during the MCA’s annual clinic in Great Falls on Thursday. Other inductees are Cindy Farmer, Dell Meuchel, Les Meyer and George Nelson.
Henderson is currently Scobey’s track and field head coach, and he works as the defensive and special teams coordinator for the football team. A former social studies teacher and P.E. teacher, Henderson also works as a custodian at Scobey-based telephone company Nemont.
His 40-year coaching resume includes Billings Senior, Peerless, Scobey (twice) and Plentywood. He's coached boys and girls basketball, football and boys and girls track and field. At Scobey, his teams captured 26 track and field district championships (13 each for boys and girls) and 14 division championships (nine boys, five girls). The Spartan boys have earned four state trophies, including championships in 1996 and 2019. Henderson also coached four teams in 8-Man football state championship games, winning state titles in 1995 and 1996. He's also been a longtime athletic director.
With a resume like that, it would seem clear that Henderson would eventually be inducted. But he never thought much about it.
"I can't say I didn't ever think about it, but I never thought about it for the first 30 years of my career," he said.
All those years and all those teams bring countless memories, but for Henderson, who's a Scobey graduate himself, the most prominent memories are obvious.
“The ones that stand out the most are the state titles. You know, especially here, this is my alma mater,” Henderson said. "I graduated from Scobey and never won a football title.”
The 1995 football title that Henderson won as coach was Scobey’s first in the sport, and it kicked off the “trifecta” for the Spartan boys during the 1995-1996 school year. Scobey won the State C basketball championship that winter, and then Henderson was the head coach for the track and field title that spring.
By the time Henderson graduated from Montana State University-Billings (then Eastern Montana College) in 1985, he knew coaching would be a big part of his future. He had already coached youth basketball and helped out with the high school boys track program at Billings Senior under Ralph Mercer. From there, it was on to Peerless, and then his first stint in Scobey.
In 2002, Henderson moved to Plentywood to teach, before coming back to Scobey in 2012. He plans to retire from Nemont this year, but that retirement will be for Nemont only. He can't stay away from coaching.
"When I look forward to go into practice, I look forward to the game, I look forward to coaching the kids,” Henderson said. "So that's probably the biggest part of is the kids, you know, building those relationships and seeing them succeed.”