Coaches for the second annual Southwest Montana All-Star Basketball Classic have been selected by a committee of event organizers. The coaches were selected after being nominated by either participating schools or by individuals throughout Southwestern Montana.
The Classic, which is put on by the Butte Chamber of Commerce Hospitality Committee, will be played on Monday, March 15 at the Montana Tech HPER Complex. A girls' game will be played at 6 p.m., followed by a boys' game at about 7:30.
Boys and girls from 15 schools in Southwestern Montana will be selected to play in the classic. The teams will be announced on Monday, March 8. Players will be divided into two, 12-player teams.
Teams will be named the Big Sky All-Stars and the Treasure State All-Stars.
"We are very excited about the caliber of individuals, who have been selected to coach in the second Southwest Montana All-Star Classic," commented Butte Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marko Lucich. "They are an excellent group of former coaches who have contributed a great deal to the traditions of high school basketball in Southwest Montana. We are proud to have them involved in the classic." The coaching staffs for the games: Big Sky Boys Pat Foley and "Dusty" Dan Sullivan
- Pat Foley served as the Butte High boys' head coach from 1983-1994. In his 12 years as the head coach, the Bulldogs played in five state championships. His 1984 team captured the state title in Missoula on St. Patrick's Day by beating Great Falls High 53-50.
- "Dusty" Dan Sullivan was a great player for Butte Central and the University of Montana Grizzlies before becoming a coach at Butte High School. He is a 1958 graduate of Butte Central and a member of the Butte Sports Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a player. He played for the Montana Grizzlies from 1960-1962 and was an All-Skyline Conference member. He served as an assistant coach for the Butte High Bulldogs under Larry Ferguson from 1975-1980. During that time, the Bulldogs advanced to the state tournament three years.
Treasure State Boys John Sullivan and Ed Derzay
- John Sullivan was a standout player at Butte Central and Western Montana College before becoming a coach at Ennis High School. At Butte Central, John was a member of the 1984 State Class A championship team and the 1985 state runner-up team. While at Western, he was a member of the Frontier Conference All-Conference Team twice and a member of the 1989 Western team that advanced to the NAIA National Tournament. John coached the Ennis Mustangs as either an assistant coach or head coach from 1991-2001. His Mustang teams captured four conference championships, one district championship and advanced to the state Class C tournament once. He is currently the principal of Ennis High School.
- Ed Derzay was a standout athlete at Butte Central during his high school days. He began his coaching career in Anaconda at Anaconda Central High School. He later moved on to Anaconda High School where he served as the head football coach and assistant basketball coach. His football teams captured several conference titles and advanced to the state Class A playoffs. As an assistant basketball coach under Bill Sullivan, the Copperheads played for the 1989 state championship in Missoula.
Big Sky Girls Tom Pomroy and Barry Brophy
- Tom Pomroy coached both boys' and girls' basketball at Browning High School, Butte Central High School and Butte High School. He is the only coach to have been on the coaching staffs of both the boys' and girls' programs at Butte Central and Butte High. Prior to his coaching career, Pomroy was a standout athlete at Butte High and a football player at Montana State University.
- Barry Brophy was a standout football player at Butte Central during his prep days. He coached football at Butte Central in 1989 and was an assistant girls' basketball coach at Butte Central under Tom Pomroy for 5 years.
Treasure State Girls Bernie Wasser and Kevin Engellant
- Bernie Wasser's coaching career spans 23 years with stops in Peerless, Malta, and Beaverhead County High Schools. His teams advanced to the state tournament 12 times. He coached the Malta boys to the 1996 and 1998 state Class B Championships and his 2003 Dillon girls captured the state title. He was named state Coach of the Year three times and conference Coach of the Year four times.
- Kevin Engellant was a standout player at Western Montana College before entering the coaching ranks. He led the Dillon Beavers girls' program to the state Class A title in 1995. In 1996, he became the women's head coach at Western Montana College, where he built one of the more successful programs in the country. His accomplishments at Western included five Frontier Conference Tournament championships, eight NAIA National Tournament appearances and an appearance in the NAIA Elite 8 in 2002.