TERRY COLUMN: Be careful what you wish for

Print Article

Losing to your rival is never easy. Frankly, it never should be.

For the second time in three seasons, a head football coach in the Brawl of the Wild has lost his job following an extended losing streak in the rivalry.

Bob Stitt was let go this week as Montana head coach after his second straight loss to Montana State, both ending late-season hopes at a playoff run. Stitt was 21-14 in his three-year tenure, making the playoffs in his first season.

That first season brought a lot of promise, including a nationally-televised victory over North Dakota State in Missoula. To say things went downhill from there is a little of an overstatement, but they certainly leveled off.

Two seasons ago, Montana State fired the winningest coach in program history, Rob Ash, for much of the same reasons. While he was a consistent winner, with three conference championships and four trips to the playoffs in nine seasons, he had trouble beating the Griz. Ashís teams were 2-7 against Montana, losing all five contests held in Bozeman. Coupled with his failures to get over the hump in the playoffs, Ash was let go.

MSUís replacement for Ash, Jeff Choate, has been successful in one aspect of his job. Heís beaten the Griz. Heís done it twice in two years and both were powerful performances.

What Choate hasnít been able to do is win the other games, with back-to-back losing seasons, finishing 4-7 in 2016 and 5-6 this year.

It depends on your definition of success if you feel that MSU made the right move. What do you value more, being in the position to win championships or beating your rival?

In a perfect world you would do both, but thatís extremely rare, even for a program with the advantages of Montana. There will be years where you lose to your rival. There will be years you donít make the playoffs. Some years both will happen. Most years one will happen.

Montana fired a winning coach who led a clean program in the hopes of something greater. It may turn out to be a good move in the end, if the Griz are able to find someone who is everything to everybody.

It could also go the other way, leaving the team looking again in a few years.

And is that really what you want?

Print Article

Read More Local Sports

HOOPS ROUNDUP: Great Falls drops Flathead

December 09, 2017 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake The Flathead boys couldnít overcome a combined 38 points from Great Falls Highís Kendall Kynett and Blake Thelen, dropping their home basketball opener 59-49 on Saturday night at Flathead High Scho...

Comments

Read More

SWIMMING: Better times for Flathead, Glacier relays at Butte Invite

December 09, 2017 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake BUTTE ó Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Flathead, Glacier and Whitefish were in the water for their second swim meet of the season on Saturday at the Butte Invitational. The Flathead girls dropped their ...

Comments

Read More

Wrestling: Braves 2nd to Havre at Mining City Duals

December 09, 2017 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake BUTTE ó Flathead finished second while Glacier ended its weekend on a high note at the 30th annual Mining City Duals Jim Street Wrestling Classic Tournament. Flathead came up short against Havre, ...

Comments

Read More

BASKETBALL: Slow start dooms Glacier boys in opener

December 09, 2017 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Glacierís offense found a bit of a groove, but not before it was too late. The Wolfpack boys scored just 17 points before the half and watched its defense falter late in a season-opening, 64-48 lo...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2017 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X