Jeff Malby has resigned as girls basketball coach at Billings Central.
In four seasons, Malby guided the Rams to a 68-30 overall record and three trips to the Class A state championship game, winning twice. Central went 24-16 in Eastern A games under Malby, and won a pair of league tournament titles.
A native of Three Forks, Malby plans to return home to work at the local newspaper, the Three Forks Herald, which his brother owns. This will also allow him to spend more time with family.
“It’s the most difficult decision I’ve had to make in a long time,” said Malby, who informed the team of his decision Tuesday. “The last four years have been incredible. It was a great opportunity to teach and coach at Central. It was the ultimate experience.
“Every year at Central you have a chance to win. But the reason this is so difficult is because they're such good kids. They’re such good people. I think I grew more from them than maybe they grew from me.”
Malby was named the 14th girls basketball coach in Central history in June of 2009. In his first season, Malby guided the Rams to an 18-6 record and a state title victory over Eastern A rival Sidney.
After placing third at the state tournament in 2011, Central came back the following year with a 17-6 mark and a victory over Butte Central in the state championship game. It was the school's sixth girls basketball crown.
Last season the Rams won the Eastern A title and again advanced to play for the state championship, but lost 33-31 to archrival Laurel.
Malby’s .694 winning percentage ranks second in program history behind Larry Tocci, who went 127-21 (.858) and guided the Rams to three state championships as coach from 1984-89.
Central principal Shel Hanser said the search for Malby’s replacement is underway.