Lights fill coaching staff vacancy with Dillon star
George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
With former Montana State University-Northern assistant men’s basketball coach Nate Larson now the head coach at Montana Tech, Lights head coach Shawn Huse had to go out and find a new assistant to help guide the Lights program during the upcoming 2006-2007 basketball season. On Monday night, Huse announced the hiring of Dillon native and former University of Montana-Western player Gabe Walker to replace Larson on the Lights’ bench. “We are very fortunate to have Gabe join our program,” Huse said. “He is a dedicated, enthusiastic young coach with a sincere passion for the game of basketball. “After watching Gabe perform as a player, and seeing him over the past few years in the coaching community,” Huse added. “I consider him to be a first-class guy who works very hard and carries himself in a positive while doing so.” Walker graduated from Beaverhead County High School in Dillon in 1996 where he excelled in basketball and football. Among his high school achievements, Walker was selected to the 1996 Montana/Wyoming All-Star game, and the 1996 East/West Shrine football game. He graduated from UM-Western in 2004, and during his final basketball season for the Bulldogs, he led the Frontier Conference in 3-point field goal percentage. Walker also began his coaching career at Western as the head junior varsity coach for the 2004-2005 season, and he served on head coach Mark Durham’s staff. In 2005, Walker took a job as an assistant coach at Geyser, and this past school year, he was both the head boys and girls basketball coach at Geyser. “Gabe is a Montana guy who knows about the uniqueness, importance, level of competitiveness and excitement of basketball at all levels in our state,” Huse said. “That includes both the high school level and the Frontier Conference. I know he will play a key roll in maintaining the level our program is operating at, and he will play a big part in any future success the Lights enjoy.” While coaching at Northern, Walker will be working towards his Master’s degree, as well as working as the sports information director, which is a job Larson also held while at MSU-N. The 2006-2007 MSU-N men’s basketball season is slated to get under way in October.