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NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the state-by-state winners of its High School Coaches of the Year for track & field on Thursday. 

Missoula Sentinel head track & field coach Craig Mettler was named Montana's Boys Track & Field Coach of the Year while Bozeman's Eric Fisher earned the honor for Girls Track & Field Coach of the Year. 

After the Sentinel girls won state titles in 2017 and 2018, Mettler saw the boys team break through with the state championship in 2019. The win was Sentinel's first as a team on the boys side since 1964 when it was Missoula County High School. 

Fisher's Hawks won the first girls track & field team title for Bozeman since 2007 back at the state meet in May. The meet served as a swan song for Fisher with the Class AA school as he accepted a job to be the principal and athletic director at Manhattan's middle school beginning in the fall. 

Fisher and Mettler as well as other winners from around the country were selected by a committee of experts from around the nation, according to the USTFCCCA's press release. Factors taken into consideration included team scores, placement at state, margin of victory, performance against rankings if available, individual championships and how their teams' performances stacked up to previous years. 

The winners from each state will be considered for the association's National High School Track & Field Coach of the Year award. One boys coach and one girls coach from among all the states will be selected by a panel of experts and those winners will be announced later this month. 

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