Sullivan Named Girls Basketball Coach at Glacier High School

Bill Sullivan is replacing Kris Salonen, who stepped down last month

By Dillon Tabish

Bill Sullivan, a longtime educator in Kalispell and former high school football and basketball coach, has been selected as the new head coach of the girls basketball program at Glacier High School.

Activities Director Mark Dennehy announced the hire April 21, pending approval by the school board. The open position drew eight applicants.

“We are extremely excited that Bill will lead our program because of his passion for athletics, his leadership background, and keen understanding of athletics,” Dennehy said. “Bill blends high expectations for our girls with a structure and vision for success.”

Sullivan is replacing Kris Salonen, who stepped down last month after 6 1/2 years as head coach at Glacier. The team finished 12-9 overall last season.

An Anaconda native who played basketball at Montana Tech, Sullivan is the principal at Russell Elementary in Kalispell. He has worked in School District #5 for 19 years as a teacher, activities director at Kalispell Junior High School and as a principal. He has also coached both basketball and football at the high school level. He coached the sophomore boys team at Missoula Big Sky in 1997, when the Eagles won the Class AA state championship. After moving to Kalispell, he coached the freshman boys team at Flathead High School for four seasons before transitioning to football as an assistant at Flathead.

“Coaching has always been a passion of mine,” he said. “My father was a high school basketball coach for 20-plus years. I was in the gym a lot as a kid.”

Sullivan said he felt like applying for the Glacier job because he felt the timing was right to return to coaching.

“I thought long and hard about being able to do it. I’m in that spot in my career professionally that it seems right,” he said.

“The program has been in good hands and it’s in good shape. I’m excited to build upon what is already there and to compete at a state level.”

Dennehy said Sullivan “has always been thought of as someone who would be an outstanding leader within one of our athletic programs.”