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Montana Coaches Association announces 2022 Hall of Fame inductees

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Posted at 6:47 AM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 08:47:43-04

(Editor's note: MCA press release)

The Montana Coaches Association (MCA) is pleased to announce that five Montana coaches will be inducted into the MCA Hall of Fame.  The induction ceremony will be a part of the 2022 MCA Awards Ceremony (in conjunction with the MCA Coaches Clinic), on Thursday, July 28, 2022 at 11:30 am in Great Falls at the C.M. Russell High School Auditorium.  Family and friends are invited.  All attendees are invited to a complimentary luncheon in the CMR cafeteria immediately following the ceremony.

Congratulations to these 5 long-serving, outstanding coaches and their families!

2022 MCA Hall of Fame Inductees

Mark Albert

  • A 34-year coaching veteran in western Montana high schools, Coach Albert’s coaching career included stops at Frenchtown, Missoula Hellgate, Willow Creek, Darby, and Hamilton. It’s at Hamilton High School where Mark spent 25 years and had his greatest coaching impact.
  • Coach Albert served Hamilton High School 4 years as the Broncs head boys basketball coach, 11 years as the head girls basketball coach, and 20 years as the Hamilton High School head cross country coach.
  • As the Lady Broncs head girls’ basketball coach his teams posted 3 divisional championships. They advanced to 3 state class A championship games, claiming the state A girls’ basketball championship in 2015. For this achievement, Coach Albert was named by the Montana Coaches Associations, Class A Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year.
  • At the competitive Western A Division Cross Country meets the Hamilton teams have won 10 division championships, 3 for the girls and 7 for the boys.
  • Coach Albert’s girls’ cross-country teams have trophied at the state meet 3 times including 2 third place finishes and 1 as state class A runner-up. The Broncs boys’ cross-country teams have captured 8 state trophies including 5 state championships in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2020, and 2021.
  • Nominated 3 times for the MCA Class A Girls’ Cross Country Coach of the Year and 8 times for the MCA Class A Boys’ Cross-Country Coach of the Year, Coach Albert was honored by his peers 5 times as Class A Boys’ Cross Country Coach of the Year.
  • Mark was twice nominated for National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2021.

Spencer Huls

  • Coach Spencer Huls has spent his entire coaching career at Corvallis High School, 19 highly successful years in total. 18 years as head boys track and field coach and 13 years as head girls track and field coach.
  • Under Spencer’s leadership the Blue Devils Track and Field teams have captured 17 Western A Division titles, 8 with the boys and 9 with the girls.
  • Over the past 18 years the Corvallis boys track and field teams have earned 9 State Class A trophies. This includes state championships in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, and 2018, for a total of 5 state championships.
  • The Blue Devil girls track, and field teams have seized 9 State Class A trophies during Coach Huls’ 13-year tenure as head girls track and field coach. Their unprecedented 6 consecutive State Class A titles from 2011 to 2016 ties an all-class state record for consecutive state track and field championships. The 2013 girls state champions scored a state record 185.5 points, most by any track and field team at a state track and field meet.
  • Spencer has been nominated for the Montana Coaches Association Track and Field Coach of the Year 18 times. 9 times with the Corvallis girls track and field teams and 9 times with the Corvallis boys track and field teams. From these nominations Coach Huls has been honored by the MCA as a 5-time Class A Boys Track and Field Coach of the Year and a 6-time Class A Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year.
  • Coach Huls was twice nominated for National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year in 2016 and 2021.
  • An accomplished speaker Spencer has twice presented at the MCA Coaches Clinic, the Wyoming Coaches Clinic, the Nebraska Coaches Clinic and the National High School Coaches Association Convention.

Rod Karst

  • 34 years marks the coaching tenure for Coach Rod Karst including 6 years as head track and field coach at Opheim High School and 28 years at Glasgow High School.

A well-rounded coach he has served the Scotties as an assistant coach in cross country, volleyball, and softball and head coach in cross country, volleyball, and track & field.

  • At Ophiem, his Viking girls track, and field teams won 4 district titles and 3 Eastern C Division championships.
  • As an assistant coach at Glasgow, Rod played a major role in the success of the Scotties volleyball and softball programs. An assistant volleyball coach for 13 years, he was a part of 12 district and division championships and state championships in 1995 and 1996. During the 4 years he assisted with softball as the Scotties captured 3 division titles and a state third place trophy in 2011.
  • It’s cross country where Coach Karst has had his greatest influence on Scottie athletics. For 23 years Rod has guided the boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams.

6 Scottie boys’ cross-country teams have earned trophies at the State Class B meet.

For the girls, 9 top 3 finishes at the State Class B meet are hi-lighted by 7 state championships in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 4 in a row from 2010 to 2013.

  • Coach Karst has been nominated for the Montana Coaches Association Cross Country Coach of the Year 25 times, 14 times with the Glasgow girls’ teams and 11 times with the boys’ teams. From these nominations Rod has been honored by the MCA as the Class B Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year 7 times.
  • Coach Karst was twice nominated for National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2014 and 2018.

This year Rod has been nominated for the 2022 National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year.

Rod Paskey

  • 42 years of Coach Rod Paskey’s 45 years in Montana high school coaching were spent coaching student athletes at Frenchtown High School. Rod’s 45 years coaching high school student athletes is a standard that will rarely be equaled in the future.
  • As a valued assistant coach, Rod played a major role in the success of the Broncs football and softball programs. For 20 years he serving as an assistant for the Frenchtown football team, winning 18 conference championships and 3 state championships. In 2011 Coach Paskey was selected as an assistant coach for the west team in the Montana East-West Shrine Football Game.
  • 10 years spent on the softball diamond as an assistant produced 5 division championships and 3 state championships with 5 additional state level trophies.
  • An assistant coach to the Frenchtown girls track, and field teams for 32 years. Coach Paskey was a part of 6 district championships, 5 division championships, and 7 state trophies including state championships in 1981 and 1991.
  • 8 years an assistant for the boys’ track and field teams produced 4 district and 3 division championships. The Broncs also added 3 second place finishes at the state meet.
  • As the Frenchtown Broncs head boys track & field coach for 23 years, Coach Paskey’s teams tallied 9 district championships and 1 division championships.

In 1994 his Broncs placed third at the State Class B Track and Field Meet.

  • Over the past 30 years Coach Paskey has served the schools of western Montana as meet manager for numerous invitationals. district, and divisional track meets.

Jeff Thompson

  • 14 years of Coach Thompson’s 26 years coaching wrestling have been spent as head wrestling coach at Flathead High School in Kalispell.
  • During his tenure as the Braves head wrestling coach his teams have amassed a dual meet record of 247 victories and 31 setbacks.
  • Coach Thompson’s teams have earned trophies at the state wrestling meet 11 times including 1 third place finish, 2 runner-ups, and 8 state championships. 4 teams from Flathead High School have received national rankings including the team from 2008 who finished the season ranked #10 nationally. That same team scored 410 points at the state meet, most points scored by any team at the state wrestling tournament.
  • Coach Thompson has embraced the MHSA’s addition of girls’ high school wrestling.

In the first two years of competition the Flathead girls are undefeated in dual meets and tournaments. They are the 2021 and 2022 state champions.

  • A 22-year member of the Montana Coaches Association, Jeff has been nominated 10 times for Class AA Wrestling Coach of the Year and 1 time for the Girls Wrestling Coach of the Year. He was honored 7 times with the Class AA Wrestling Coach of the Year following the 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2017, 2018, and 2021 seasons.

He also received the 2021 Girls Wrestling Coach of the Year.

  • Coach Thompson was twice nominated for National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Wrestling Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2008.
  • Coach Thompson’s coaching success at Flathead High School has enabled him to be selected as the 2021 Montana Junior Nationals coach and the 2020 Montana/Germany Cultural Exchange coach.
  • Coach Thompson served the MHSA as a member of the wrestling rules committee for 8 years. Jeff’s commitment to coaching excellence continues as he holds a Bronze Level Coaching Certification through USA Wrestling.