by Mikayln Brickley
Two local coaches have been voted Coaches of the Year by the Montana Coaches Association. Hamilton’s Track and Field Coach John Stromberg was selected for Class A, and Florence-Carlton’s Head Softball Coach Maurice Craun was named Coach of the Year for Class B/C.
Coach Stromberg is “very honored to have been nominated by fellow coaches and feels grateful to be recognized”. Stromberg has been the head Track and Field Coach at Hamilton since 2009. “We didn’t have a lot of experience coming into this year”, said Stromberg. “We told our kids to just go out and compete as hard as they can. Work hard at practice and work up to their potential.” In spite of the lack of experience this year, the boys’ team took home the 1st place trophy at the state track meet in Laurel. “It was a great season,” said Coach Stromberg. “We had a really good team and we had a lot of fun with them.”
It’s no secret that Florence softball has a legacy of being a force on the softball field, and in his first season as head coach, Maurice Craun continued to build on that notoriety. “We get a lot of support in Florence,” said Coach Craun. “The tradition has been there for a long time of a winning program and it’s just fun to coach there.”
Coach Craun is very excited to have been named Coach of the Year, and owes it to his “excellent assistant coaches and a lot of support from the community”. After missing last season due to Covid-19, “getting the girls to play as a unit was challenging because of the time off,” said Craun of the beginning of the season. Despite their initial challenges, however, Florence went on to win their 11thState Championship since 2000. “We’ve won a lot of championships, but this was the first one in front of our home crowd. It’s special.”