The following is a complete list of fall 2014 Coach of the Year recipients for Montana high school athletics, as voted on by fellow Montana Coaches Association members.
All 21 honorees won their respective state titles this fall.
Sometimes reinforcements for a high school sports program come of age and up from the local middle school. Sometimes they come from Idaho.
The Hamilton boys’ golf team wrapped up the State A title Saturday at their home course behind five balanced scorers, one of whom wasn’t even enrolled at a school in Montana last year.
Max Toenjes, who moved to the Bitterroot since last fall from Sandpoint, Idaho, fired a team-best two-day 155 to finish fourth and help the Broncs bust Day-1 leader Billings Central.
Following Tommy Tirrell’s tie-breaking chip-off victory Friday that earned him second place at the Loyola Sacred Heart Invitational golf tournament, he carried his iron off the 18th green to talk to a waiting reporter.
They introduced themselves, having never met before. Tirrell didn’t garner too many interviews in his sophomore or freshman seasons golfing at Loyola.
“You probably talked to Tom last year,” Tirrell said, no hint of animosity in his statement of fact, just an observation.
Tom Swanson, and with him Maggie Crippen on the girls’ side, dominated the action for the Rams and Breakers golf teams over the past few seasons. Each are gone now onto NCAA Division I programs, but the Loyola golf legacy still has some sheen on it.
Kalispell Flathead junior Zach Perrin won the 1,600 at the Missoula Invitational last week in a state-best time of 4:24.36. He also helped the Braves win the 400 relay last Saturday on their way to a boys’ team title. This came exactly one week after Perrin ran the fastest 3,200 meters ever (8:55.24) by a Montana prep athlete at the Arcadia Invitational in California.
Loyola Sacred Heart senior Maggie Crippen won three straight golf tournaments, including two last week and one on Monday (April 16). Crippen won the Bigfork Invite last Thursday (April 12) followed by the Plains Invite on Saturday, when she carded a 76. Cripped capped off her amazing five-day run with a win at the Manhattan Invitational two days later. Crippen and Columbus’ Morgan Scott tied for the girls’ lead at 79, but Crippen won a chip-off for the title.