Montana Coaches Association MEDIA RELEASE
Montana Coaches Association is pleased to announce that long-time Montana coach,
Bill Epperly – Flathead High School,
will be inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) HALL OF FAME at their annual convention’s Hall of Fame Banquet, to be held at noon, June 20, 2017 in Peoria, IL. Friends and family are invited to attend: http://www.hscoaches.org/summer-convention
Bill Epperly has been a Montana coach for 49 years and is still going strong. His outstanding career began at Bozeman Rosary High School in 1959, and continues today as assistant track coach at Flathead High. 46 of those years were spent in the high school ranks and 3 in college at MT Tech.
Coach Epperly hasn’t just been coaching; he has experienced considerable success over the years. As an assistant, he has been a part of an incredible 13 state championships. As head mentor, Epperly has won two state basketball championships and finished second twice.
In 2000, Bill began coaching the boys’ and girls’ high jump at Flathead where he has had 45 divisional, 24 state placers. His fellow coaches tell us that he is a great communicator. His athletes enjoy working with him and after 49 years, Coach Epperly still has the charisma that inspires his athletes to reach their maximum potential.
A 2-time MCA Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year (1982 and 1989), Epperly was inducted into the MCA Hall of Fame in 1990. He was a 1993 nominee for National High School Basketball Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Kalispell Legends Wall of Fame in 2005.
Montana Coaches Association
Montana Coaches Association is pleased to announce that long-time Montana track and field coach, Charlie Merrifield – Butte High School will be inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) HALL OF FAME at their annual convention’s Hall of Fame Banquet, to be held at noon June 29, 2016 at the Galt House located in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.
Friends and family are invited to attend:
Butte High School
Charlie Merrifield of Butte High School in Butte, Montana, has coached for over 62 years as both an assistant and head coach in a variety of sports, but primarily track and field. Charlie began coaching in 1954 and first served as Butte High School varsity track and field assistant coach in 1963. The Bulldogs won the state track title that spring.
Charlie remained an assistant coach until 1974, when he stepped into the track program’s head coaching role at Butte High. In his first spring as head track coach, Butte High won the state title despite not having one individual state champion. Butte High repeated as state champions in 1975, and Coach Merrifield was off and flying with a brilliant career as a head coach that extended 40 track seasons.
The list of accomplishments by Merrifield is impressive. His Bulldogs’ teams won two more state titles in 1981 and 1982. Nine more times the Butte High track team finished in the top three at the state meet to take home a trophy. Overall his teams were in the top five in team standings at the state track meet 21 times.
In his career as head coach, there were 60 times when an individual won state track championships for Butte High and seven relay teams took home gold medals. In his specialty coaching hurdles, for one memorable eight-year stretch wherein 16 individual state hurdle championship events were contested, nine of the 16 were won by one of Charlie’s athletes.
Charlie was inducted into the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1991. He is a member of the Western Montana College Hall of Fame and the Butte Sports Hall of Fame. In 2005, the track complex at Bulldog Memorial Stadium was renamed Charlie Merrifield Track in honor of a lifetime of service to the school district and its student-athletes.
In 2013, after four decades at the helm, Charlie “retired” from his head coaching position, but continues to serve as a volunteer assistant with the track and field program at Butte High School and is coaching the hurdlers still today.
Montana Coaches Association MEDIA RELEASE
The Montana Coaches Association and Executive Director Don Olsen, are pleased to announce that 15 Montana coaches have been selected as “Finalists” for National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) Awards:
The nominees are:
Assistant COTY, Boys’ – Jim Epperly, Bigfork
Assistant COTY, Girls’ – Mark Yoakam, Corvallis
Athletic Director of the Year – Pat Lynch, Manhattan
Basketball, Boys’ – Terry Thomas, Beaverhead
Basketball, Girls’ – Karen Deden, Missoula Sentinel
Cross Country, Boys’ – Clint May, Bozeman
Cross Country, Girls’ – Joanne Cleveland, Corvallis
Football – Rodney Tweet, Geraldine
Golf – Jeff Strickland, Tree Forks
Soccer – Erika Cannon, Bozeman
Softball – Ed Kriskovich, Billings West
Special Sports – Cheer – Julie Shepherd, Choteau
Track & Field, Girls’ – Spencer Huls, Corvallis
Volleyball – Tara Taylor, Fergus
Wrestling – Steve Komac, Great Falls
8 Finalists are selected nation-wide in each category. This is a tremendous honor for Montana and for each of these well-deserved nominees.
Finalists will be honored during The National Coach of the Year Awards Banquet which will take place at the NHSACA National Convention at the Galt House in Louisville, KY on the evening of June 29, 2016. The highlight of the banquet will be the naming of the NHSACA National Coach of the Year in nineteen recognized sports categories. Friends, family and fellow coaches are encouraged to attend the convention and award ceremonies. More information at http://www.hscoaches.org/
The National High School Athletic Coaches Association is the oldest coaches’ association in the nation formed by coaches, for coaches, and has been recognizing national coaches of the year since 1978.