Whitefish Hires New Track Coaches; Softball Coach Resigns

Two former assistants will lead boys and girls track teams; fate of school's 2020 softball season is unclear

By Andy Viano
Devin Beale of Whitefish runs the first leg of the varsity 4x100 relay at the Archie Roe track and field meet in Legends Stadium in Kalispell on May 4, 2019. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Whitefish High School will replace legendary track and field coach Derek Schulz with a pair of former assistants.

Kelliann Blackburn has been tabbed to lead the girls program and Willie Roche will serve as the boys head coach in 2020. Schulz, who won eight state titles in 24 years with the Bulldogs, retired in June as the leader of both the boys and girls programs.

Blackburn, an English teacher at the high school, coached sprints, relays and the long jump last season. Roche coached the pole vault and distance races in 2019 and is a Whitefish native who competed for the Carroll College track and field team. Roche is a business teacher at Whitefish High.

Whitefish’s track and tennis teams will begin practicing on March 9 but the fate of the school’s softball program remains up in the air. The Bulldogs did not field a softball team in 2019 due to low student turnout and now-former coach Hannah Pomeroy, who was hired before the 2019 season but never coached a game, resigned earlier this month. Whitefish Activities Director Aric Harris said the school will still hold an open tryout next month and will field a team if there is enough interest.

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