Sarah Pfeifer

Sarah Pfeifer

MISSOULA — Sarah Pfeifer has been hired to coach varsity girls basketball at Missoula Sentinel.

Pfeifer, who moved to Missoula last year, succeeds Karen Deden after serving as a volunteer assistant under Deden last season.

"It's a great program and Karen is a legend, so it was fun to get to work with her," Pfeifer told the Missoulian and "When she retired, I was hoping I could take over and that's what happened.

"One of my friends (Nicki Collen) just took over for Kim Mulkey at Baylor. I feel like I'm doing the high school version of that. I'm from Arkansas and we're known for playing fast, so hopefully we can play some uptempo basketball here at Sentinel."  

A math teacher at Sentinel, Pfeifer has over a decade of experience coaching on the junior high and high school levels. Previously she was video coordinator at the University of Washington where she was responsible for scouting opponents and assisting with recruiting for women's basketball.

As a player, Pfeifer earned the distinction as the MVP of the Arkansas high school basketball tournament in 2001. She went on to play at Arkansas where she earned the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award twice.

"Sarah’s enthusiasm to work with students as a coach and a teacher is a major reason she was selected as the next head coach to lead our Spartan program," Sentinel AD Brian Fortmann said. "Her philosophy includes taking advantage of the opportunities to teach students, build their self-confidence and lead them to experience success."

In addition to her qualifications that enable her to teach math, Pfeifer is certified in health and human performance.

Bill Speltz is Missoulian Sports Editor and has served as Sunday columnist the past 15 years. Do you have a story idea? Email Bill at

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