Terry Thomas

Thomas

Dillon boys' basketball coach Terry Thomas was selected as the Class A Coach of the Year, the Montana Coaches Association announced on Monday.

The announcement didn't come as a big surprise in Class A circles. Thomas guided the Beavers to a 24-0 season as well as its second straight Class A State championship.

The Beavers beat Billings Central in the championship game, held at the Butte Civic Center.

"It’s special to be honored by the MCA and it was a special year with our team and coaching staff," Thomas said. "Awards like these are 

very nice because from a program standpoint, for an entire coaching staff and players to receive any postseason-type of award is a reflection on the work of everybody."

Thomas is the second coach from the Beavers' program to be similarly honored this season.

Rick Nordahl was tabbed as the Class A Coach of the Year after leading the Beaver football team to a state-championship win over Columbia Falls in the fall.

Both coaches attributed the success of their respective programs to their players - many of who are the same - coaches and the Dillon community.

"There has been such a tremendous assistant-coaching staff over the years," Thomas said. "We've had coaches who that have stayed in the program for many many years."

Thomas' who's who of assistant coaches started with Ted Ori, who has been at his side for more than three decades. Tedd Stanisich also immersed himself into the program for many years, as did Gary Haverfield, Gary Ferris and Wendell Griffin and others.

Thomas was quick to point out the success they brought to the program, and included "young stars" Jeff Edwards and Zach McRae.

"From a coaching standpoint, they're really important," Thomas added. "We also had talent, school support and support from the community."

Other coaches to receive honors from the MCA are: 

Boys' basketball: Class AA - Mark Harkins, Glacier; Class B - David Costin, Malta, Class C - Zanen Pitts, Arlee.

Girls' basketball: Class AA - Eric Peterson, Helena; Class A - Cary Finberg, Columbia Falls; Class B - Dustin Gordon, Fairfield; Class C - Jeff Graham, Belt.

Wrestling: Class AA - Jeffrey Thompson, Flathead; Class A - Scott Filius, Havre; Class B - Danny Lemer, Eureka; Class C  - Jason Lorang, Cascade.

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