COLUMBIA FALLS — Bill Sapa, head coach of the Columbia Falls baseball team, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday.
Columbia Falls athletic director Troy Bowman confirmed the news with MTN Sports Tuesday evening, saying, "I do not have a statement at this time as we are all in a state of shock and disbelief. Maybe in a couple of days as we find a path to navigate through this for the sake of our community, school and student athletes."
Sapa was leading the Columbia Falls team during the Montana High School Association's inaugural season of sanctioned high school baseball. Sapa's son, Reginald, is a sophomore on the team.
Sapa also spent time as an assistant coach with the Columbia Falls football team for the past 10 years. He also worked as a coach for the local American Legion baseball teams in Flathead County in the Glacier Twins, and the Kalispell Lakers.
Outside of coaching, Sapa owned the Blue Moon Nite Club, a business that has been in his family since 1973. The family also operated the Blue Moon Rodeo in the Flathead Valley.
Tuesday night a letter was sent out to families by Columbia Falls High School principal Jon Konen alerting people of the news while offering support through the difficult time for the community as they mourn his passing, stating, "We will have counselors available to support our students in the upcoming days."
Konen also described Sapa as "an amazing coach, father, and friend to so many in our community."