Good coaches are hard to find and the Helena School District will need to find at least two more after the departures of Linda Paull and Paul Patterson.
Paull, who has been a long-time teacher and coach at Helena High, will retire at the end of the year according to a press release issued by the school. She led the Helena girls cross country team to a third-place finish this past season, which was the Bengals first trophy in 34 years.
Helena High runner Kylie Hartnett also won the Class AA individual title this past season.
“Coach Paull has been a strong advocate for all activities throughout her career as a teacher and coach," Helena activities director Tim McMahon said in a statement. "She has not only coached her own teams but was often seen at other events supporting the students and other coaches or sponsors from Helena High. Her depth of knowledge and experience in the coaching field has been beneficial to countless athletes. As a member of the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame, her career speaks for itself. She will be missed by the students, the district and the coaching community. We wish her the best in her retirement."
Patterson isn't retiring like Paull, but he did tender his letter of resignation as the boys head coach of Capital soccer. Near the end of the season, Patterson said he was moving away from the area, which was the reason why he stepped away from coaching the Bruins.
Capital advanced to the Class AA state semifinals before getting knocked about by Bozeman.
“Coach Patterson has been a positive example not only to our student athletes but to other coaches as well," McMahon said. "He is a strong advocate for the game of soccer in Helena and across the state of Montana. Paul has provided steady leadership to the soccer community and to our district. Paul constantly looked for the good in his athletes, he helped to guide them to be their best academically and athletically.”
The search to replace both coaches will take place in the next few months according to the release with a target date for March to fill the vacancies.