HELENA — Longtime Helena High coach Linda Paull has been selected to the Montana Coaches Association (MCA) Hall of Fame.
Paull will be inducted into the Hall of Fame with five other Montana coaches, including Larry Lucero of Great Falls, Pat Lynch of Manhattan, Bob Owen of Polson, Missoula Loyola's Daniel Weber and the late Craig Finberg of Dillon.
“This is a tremendous honor to receive this award,” said Paull, whose HHS teams captured two state championships in two different sports. “Teaching and coaching has always been my passion, and this is like a dream come true.”
Paull, who started out as a Capital assistant in 1980, had been a standout prep athlete (track, gymnastics, basketball) at Butte, prior to a stellar college gymnastics career with Montana State University.
She became involved with coaching Helena sports in 1981, and over the past 37 years has directed gymnastics, track and field and cross country.
From 1981-89, her gymnastics teams garnered five state meet trophies, highlighted by the 1988 state championship. The Bengals also placed runner-up twice and finished third twice.
Paull has coached track with Helena for 34 years, serving as coach from 1993-2000 when her 2000 team garnered the program’s first and only state championship. As an assistant for 26 years (1984-94, 2001-present), she has worked with teams bringing home four state trophies and 10 divisional trophies.
She has also served as the Helena girls cross country coach since 2009.
Paull was the 2000 MCA Coach of the Year, and was nominated for Regional COY in Gymnastics. She is a 34-year member of the MCA, has served as AA Director and is the MCA president elect.
The hall's induction ceremony will be a part of the 11:30 MCA Awards Ceremony (in conjunction with the MCA Coaches Clinic) on Aug. 2 in the CM Russell High Auditorium.
“Congratulations to these six long-serving, outstanding coaches,” MCA executive director Don Olsen wrote.