Soccer

Glacier Continues Search for Girls Soccer Coach

Five months after championship-winning coach stepped down, school struggling to find replacement

By Micah Drew
Head coach Brenden Byrd talks to his team during Glacier soccer practice on Oct. 4, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The departure of Brenden Byrd from Glacier High School’s head girls soccer coach position left a void for the Wolfpack on the heels of the team’s first state championship last spring.

Byrd had coached at Glacier since 2012, and stepped down to spend more time with his family.

Glacier Activities Director Mark Dennehy said interviews were scheduled with two candidates in early May — one local and one from Texas — but one candidate backed out of the interview process.

The other, whom Dennehy declined to name, was offered the position, but did not accept.

“Now we’re hoping and we’re praying,” Dennehy said. “There’s a couple of potential candidates we’ve spoken with, but no timeline for anything yet.”

Until a new head coach is named, assistant coach Matt Ford has been overseeing off-season training for the Wolfpack. The first week of June marks the beginning of Montana High School Association sanctioned practices with coaches.

In an email to the Beacon, Ford said he did not put his name forward for the head coaching position, citing time commitment and his experience level.

“[Glacier’s] girls soccer continues to move forward with lots of enthusiasm following our first state championship,” Ford wrote, adding that the roster had 30 girls on it during the spring.

The Wolfpack graduated eight seniors, a majority of whom were starters, from the state title team last fall, which likely will mean a rebuilding year or two for whomever takes over as the new head coach.

“We have two outstanding transfers, one from Bigfork and one from California that will help bolster our roster,” Ford said. “And [we] have an excellent sophomore and freshman group of players so the future’s so bright I have to wear shades.”

The Flathead Valley is an established soccer powerhouse in Montana, especially at the club and Class A high school level. The Whitefish boys have won three state titles in a row, most recently by defeating a strong Columbia Falls team. The Whitefish girls also played in the state title game last season.

O’Brien Byrd, Brenden’s brother and the boys coach at Columbia Falls, confirmed to the Beacon that he had no intention of moving to the Class AA level, as did Whitefish head coach John Lacey.

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