BRIDGER — Jim Goltz has been a big part of Bridger High School for the last eight years. Whether serving as the school's principal or coaching the Scouts football team, he's a role model who will certainly be missed.
Goltz recently accepted a new job working as the superintendent for Elder Grove schools in Billings. Unfortunately, it means that this will be his last season at the helm of the program. For him, it's been a unique opportunity where he had the chance to coach both of his sons.
“As a dad, it’s pretty cool. You know, I’ve gotten to coach them when they were little and now that they are in high school,” Goltz said.
His older son, Chance, is now a part of the Rocky Mountain College football program, but his younger son, Gage is only a sophomore. He's been making a huge impact this season, as Bridger found themselves ranked third in the most recent Coaches Poll.
“Yeah he’s pretty talented, can help us out in a lot of ways. Running, passing, catching, returning, pretty all-around good athlete,” Goltz said about his second son.
That's just part of why Goltz's big promotion is bittersweet.
“I told the board when I got hired that I would do this for one more year, and that was this year. So I’ll probably be done at the end of the season,” Goltz said.
The Scouts suffered their second loss of the season last Friday in a tough 40-22 contest with Custer-Hysham-Melstone. Regardless of how this season ends, Gage feels fortunate to be a part of his dad's last team.
“It’ll be cool. We’ve left our mark here, and that’s kind of like a nice honor to me,” Goltz said.
At the end of the season, Gage will also have a difficult decision to make — remain at Bridger or follow his dad to a bigger school district. For now, he's got one goal in mind.
“State championship, but we’ve got to take it one game at a time. We just can’t look too far forward because we’ve got to get there first,” Goltz said.
No matter what happens, both father and son know that the final game of the season will come with lots of emotions. The end of an era — and a new beginning — for both the Goltz family and the community that's embraced them every step of the way.
"I've actually thought a lot about it, and I'll miss it for sure," Jim said.