2015 MCA Hall of Fame
The Montana Coaches Association is pleased to announce the induction of five members into the MCA Hall of Fame. Their prestigious awards will be presented at the 11:30 Awards Ceremony on Thursday, July 30th in the Great Falls High School Auditorium, in conjunction with the MCA All-Sports Coaches Clinic Family and friends are invited to the Awards Ceremony followed by a complimentary luncheon in the cafeteria. Large pictured plaques will be permanently displayed in the MSU Fieldhouse. Congratulations to these outstanding coaches and fine gentlemen!
Paul Barta – Columbus
Paul has coached 37 years in Montana. Following five years at Medicine Lane and five at Glasgow, Coach Barta settled in Columbus, where he has served the last 27 years. Over the years Barta’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have won an incredible 757 games, playing in 29 district and 18 divisional championship games while making 27 state appearances.
A 37 year member of the MCA, Barta has been a 9 time nominee for COY and has presented at both the MCA and Wyoming Clinic. He has served as District and Divisional President and managed numerous district and divisional track meets. He has coached the Radisson Senior Classic for 22 years and served as an assistant for the MT-WY All-Star Game.
Dustin Gordon – Fairfield
Serving as a head coach for 24 years, Dustin has been head mentor in boys’ basketball, girls’ tennis and also an assistant in T&F, but it is in the girls’ basketball circles where Coach Gordon is best known. His 120 game winning streak at Fairfield High is a Montana record and ranks 6th longest in the nation. During his tenure, the Fairfield girls posted four amazing, unblemished seasons as well as a “State Best” as they notched four consecutive State Championships. In his 9 years as head of the Lady Eagles, they have played in the Chipper 7 times, winning 6. He also notched a 2nd and 3rd place State finish at Chester.
Coach Gordon is a 6 time MCA COY and a finalist this year for the NHSACA COY in Girls’ Basketball. He has served 9 years as head coach for the Treasure State Classic and 2 years as the B Coach for the Hi-Line Classic. He has been MHSA State Tennis bracketing Coordinator, Divisional Tennis Director, District and Divisional Volleyball Director, and District and Divisional T&F Manager. For 12 years he was a basketball and football MOA
John LaBonty – Glasgow
John has been a head mentor for 28 of his 36 years coaching; the last 34 years at Glasgow. A 36 year MCA member, Coach LaBonty has served in a variety of sports and positions, but it is in track & field and volleyball where he has created a legacy. Under his guidance, athletes have won 20 district championships, 11 divisional championships and 9 state trophies, including 3 third place finishes, 2 runners-up and 4 State Championships (2 in Volleyball, 2 in Girls’ T&F)
LaBonty has been nominated for MCA COY 8 times and named COY twice in volleyball and 3 times in girls track & field. He has served as District and Divisional Track manager numerous years.
Rollie Sullivan – Pablo
Rollie has spent 33 years in the coaching ranks, 28 of those as head boys’ basketball coach and 3 at the helm of girls’ basketball teams. For 5 years he headed up track & field and softball teams. After stints at Outlook, Frenchtown and Circle, Coach Sullivan spent the next 23 years at Sidney. His boys’ basketball teams notched an impressive 389 victories, including 3 State Championships, one 2nd and one 3rd place trophy. His girls’ basketball teams were an impressive 62-16 for a winning percentage of 80%. Altogether, his teams made 12 appearances at the State Tournament. Rollie was nominated for MCA COY 6 times and named COY thee. A 33 year MCA member, he has spoken at several MCA clinics also served many times as district tournament manager.
Bret Thompson – Charlo
A 29 year MCA member and 28 year head coach, Bret has spent all of coaching career at Charlo and they are fortunate that he did. During his Charlo tenure, his teams have won an amazing 51 District and 13 Divisional titles along with 5 State Championship trophies. His 493 wins in girls’ basketball include 13 District, 3 Divisional and one State title. In boys’ T&F, 20 District, 8 Divisional and 4 State trophies are on the walls. His girls’ T& F teams have 18 District and 2 Divisional titles as along with 8 top five finishes.
A 5-time MCA COY and 8 time nominee, Coach Thompson has also spent time coaching the Western C Team at the Treasure State Classic and served as long-time coach of the Mission Valley All-Star Tournament.