Glacier High School is staying in-house for its new head girls basketball coach, naming assistant Amanda Cram to the top job, the school announced on Tuesday. Her hiring is subject to school board approval.
Cram, 36, was an assistant under the last two Glacier head coaches, joining Kris Salonen’s staff in 2015 and remaining on the job when Bill Sullivan was hired in 2016. Sullivan resigned shortly after the end of the 2018-19 season. Cram has also spent time with the Wolfpack volleyball program as an assistant coach.
“I’m super excited,” Cram said shortly after receiving the news she had been selected. “I’ve done the hard work in becoming the basketball coach that I am today, and having the opportunity to be the head coach of a program that is established excites me even more.”
Cram was the head coach of the Glacier freshman team the last three seasons, in addition to her duties as a varsity assistant, and led the sophomore team the year prior. She is a native of the Cleveland area and a former college track and cross country runner at Kent State University. Cram later earned her teaching certification and a second bachelor’s degree from Montana State University, and was an assistant basketball coach at Townsend High School for three seasons before arriving at Glacier.
In her seven years as an assistant, Cram has worked with five different head coaches, and traces her passion for the profession all the way back to the “life-changing” experiences she had as a high school basketball player. The connections she formed with her coaches, she said, continue to inform her coaching philosophy, one that emphasizes the student-athletes.
“Forming relationships is my utmost priority and it’s what makes coaching basketball so much fun,” she said. “I’m a junkie student of the game, but the thing that keeps me coming back is getting to form those relationships and getting to see (students) grow throughout their lives.”
The Wolfpack has enjoyed consistent success in recent years, advancing to the Class AA state tournament each of the past three seasons and winning a game at the tourney in 2018 and 2019. Glacier made four state tournament appearances during Salonen’s six-plus year tenure, including a third-place finish in 2015.
“I want to continue the expectation that we will compete at the state tournament every year,” Cram said. “But the more important aspects are taking care of young women and building their confidence, as well as their skill in basketball, and giving them opportunities for leadership and ultimately for fun. Without that we wouldn’t have the program we have.”
Cram is just the fourth coach in program history, following Doug Hashley (2007-10), Salonen (2010-16) and Sullivan (2016-19). She is an English teacher at the high school.
Glacier went 15-10 (8-4 Western AA) last season, finishing third in the conference. The Pack should return most of its rotation this winter, including all-conference forward Aubrie Rademacher and point guard Ellie Keller.