Since 2004, the name Kyle Samson has been synonymous with the Montana State University-Northern football program.
For over a decade now, Samson has been an important staple in the growth of the Lights’ program, first as an NAIA All-American quarterback, and then as an assistant coach for the Lights.
But now, after 10 years of playing and coaching at MSU-N, Samson is branching out. Earlier this week, Samson accepted the head coaching position at Class AA Flathead High School in Kalispell.
The announcement was made Monday, and the hiring is pending school board approval. Samson, who was one of four finalists interviewed, replaces Russ McCarvel, who coached the Braves the last seven seasons, and resigned in March.
“My goal has always been to be a head coach,” Samson said. "I thought this was a great opportunity. Flathead has a great tradition, and I want to be a part of that and do a great job.”
Samson, who played three years for the Lights, joining his father Mark Samson, who took over the program in 2004, has been an assistant the last seven seasons. He is currently the offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and quarterbacks coach with the Lights. While as a player, he led MSU-N to its only playoff appearance back in 2006.
He said leaving Northern and Havre, and not coaching with his dad anymore, was not an easy decision. But he is also following in his father’s footsteps so to speak. Mark Samson was a highly successful head coach at Helena Capitol High School, and now his son will take his turn as a head coach in Montana’s Class AA ranks.
“That was probably one of the hardest things, leaving my dad after he has done so much for me,” Kyle Samson said. "I want to thank my father, my family and the (coaching) staff and players at MSU-Northern for giving me the opportunity to get this job. I couldn’t have done it without them. I’m very excited about the challenge to be the head coach at Flathead.”
Samson, who is a health and physical education teacher, is married to Brooke, a Havre native, and together, they have two children, Troy, who is 4, and Jordyn, who will turn 2 in a couple weeks. He said the decision to leave Northern and Havre was a family one, and now he’s excited to begin a new chapter in what has already been a storied football career.
“I wanted to talk it over with my family,” he said. "I wanted it, but I just wanted to make sure it was the right move for my family. I always knew I’d take it.
“Very excited to get over to Kalispell and start putting a plan together and working with the kids,” he added. “I’m very excited about the future of Flathead football.”