The Roundup -

Coach Of The Year


Stacey Collins attributes her winning record and Coach of the Year award to her fellow coaches (left to right, bottom row): Steve Yockim, Steve O'Toole, Chris Merica, Stacey Collins, Roger Merritt and Justin Collins.

Stacey Collins is the junior and senior counselor at Sidney High School, helping students pursue their post-secondary educational and career goals by assisting them with college and scholarship applications, writing letters of recommendation, and filling out job applications. The goal of that department is to help students to be objective and realistic as they seek self-understanding and self-development and to share in the responsibility of helping young people become contributing citizens. While those goals of a high school counselor may seem lofty, Collins is also busy leading her athletic team to victory and winning coaching awards.

Collins, who serves as an assistant cross country coach and the head track and field coach, also happens to be a Montana Coach of the Year in 2017.

Chosen by the Montana Coaches Association for the honor, Collins was selected for her coaching in track, in particular. The Montana Coaches Association's purpose is the professional development, recognition, mentorship and longevity of Montana's coaches. As a part of their goal of recognizing coaches who excel in their sport, the Montana Coaches Association has instituted the annual Montana Coach of the Year award. Members of the organization, chiefly comprised of coaches, decide on nominees and winners of the award by casting their vote. It has been several years since a Sidney coach has won that honor.

Collins gives credit for the award to her coaching staff, attributing the success she's experienced to a team effort among her colleagues.

Collins told the Roundup, "I attribute the success I've had to my coaching staff, first of all. They have been a wonderful help and we couldn't have done it without them. We seem to function very well together and they're all great coaches."

Collins explained the uniqueness of track and why a coaching team is so necessary compared to other sports, saying, "Track is such a different thing where everyone coaches different events. There's distance, throws, sprints, hurdles, javelin, jumping, and different events that have to be coached independently. I have one of the best coaching staffs in the state." 

The coaching team to which Collins refers includes Chris Merica, Roger Merritt, Steve Yockim, Steve O'Toole and Collins' husband, Justin. The team, under Collins' leadership, led the Sidney Eagles high school boys to a championship year, winning the state tournament.

Collins has been the head coach for only a year, and assistant coach for eight years prior to becoming head coach. She was raised in Sidney and with her husband, Justin, has two children (ages 9 and 4).

Along with crediting the coaching staff, Collins also gives much commendation to the team itself. Collins told the Roundup, "When our boys won state, they really worked together. We were blessed with a great group of senior athletes who really came together with the under-classmen and performed very well together."

Collins will be honored at a Montana Coaches Association awards banquet, along with other coaches around the state who won the award for their prospective sport.


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