Polson’s Bob Owen Named to Montana Coaches Hall of Fame

Pirates mentor led program for more than 40 years before handing team over to his son, Kevin

By Andy Viano

Legendary wrestling coach Bob Owen has been named to the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame, it was announced April 4.

Owen was named Polson’s head coach in 1975 and since then his family has become synonymous with Pirates wrestling. Bob led the Pirates for more than 40 years before recently turning head coaching duties over to his son, Kevin, and the elder Owen still serves as an assistant alongside his nephews Matt and Brett. They are the sons of Bill Owen, Bob’s brother and himself a more than 40-year assistant at the school.

Bob steered the Pirates to two state titles and eight state trophies in his career, including a second-place finish in 2016. His Polson teams also won eight divisional championships and the MCA credits Owen with more than 400 career dual wins, more than any other coach in the state. He is a two-time Montana Wrestling Coach of the Year and the former coach of the Montana High School USAW wrestling team.

Six coaches are part of the MCA’s 2018 Hall of Fame class, including Columbia Falls native Craig Finberg, who is being honored posthumously. Finberg was the head coach at Dillon High School for 19 years before passing away in 2009. His younger brother, Cary, is currently the girls basketball coach at Columbia Falls and was the longtime Wildcats boys coach.