Bills named Montana assistant girls' coach of the year
During the Ennis School Board meeting last week, Ennis High School Principal Rich Borden reported the Montana Coaches Association named school athletic director Paul Bills as the assistant girl’s coach of the year. Bills joins 13 other coaches and athletic directors around the state selected for the honor of either athletic director of the year, assistant coach of the year or coach of the year for a specific sport. “It’s definitely humbling,” Bills said. “When you think about your state selecting you and think about all the other assistant coaches, it’s just very humbling.”
Along with the state honor, Bills advances through a regional competition and is now one of eight national finalists as selected by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association, the oldest coaches’ association in the nation. He was a previous regional finalist in 2012 and 2015. According to a press release, finalists are selected “based on longevity, service to high school athletics, honors, championships and winning percentages as evaluated by experts in the field of coaching.”
There are eight regions within NHSACA and Bills represents the Northwest division, which includes states such as Montana, Washington, Oregon, Utah, etc. Finalists for the national honor will be recognized at the National Coach of the Year awards banquet in Sioux Falls, S.D., this June. The NHSACA has been recognizing coaches since 1978. Bills said Ennis has had one previous regional finalist and winner, Jack McGowan in 1979. McGowan taught and coached in Ennis for 30 years and was a charter member of the Montana Coaches Association.
Bills has been the athletic director for Ennis Schools for 13 years and prior to that, was a teacher and the athletic director for Bridger Schools for 13 years. He is originally from eastern Montana.