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Kalispell Flathead football coach Matt Upham resigns

Kalispell Flathead football coach Matt Upham resigns

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West vs. Flathead (copy)

Kalispell Flathead football coach Matt Upham has resigned after two years at the helm.

KALISPELL — Flathead Braves head football coach Matt Upham has resigned his position after two years at the helm.

Upham, 30, spent five seasons as part of the Braves coaching staff after moving to Kalispell one year after graduating from Carroll College, doing so when a math teaching position opened at the high school. He impressed then-head coach Kyle Samson, earning the defensive coordinator position for the 2016 season, holding it until he was named Samson’s successor in 2019.

“Matt was able to help the Braves make it to the state football championship game in 2018. The Braves defense ranked among the very best in AA football that year,” Braves Activities Director Bryce Wilson said in a press release. “Matt is looking forward to new opportunities for himself and his family … his work ethic, time commitment, and dedication to the program truly was exemplary.”

Upham helped the Braves to three playoff appearances in four years during his time as defensive coordinator, which included a 15-8 record during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

During his two years as head coach, the Braves went 2-15, and were winless during the 2020 season, ending up at the bottom of the Class AA rankings with Belgrade (0-5).

“It is what it is,” Upham said when reached by phone on Thursday afternoon. “It’s been a great opportunity, it’s just my time to move on.”

A Helena native, Upham grew up the son of a football coach and played for Helena High School, Montana State-Northern and ultimately at Carroll College as a safety.

“This will be the first fall I haven’t been on the sidelines since I was a ball boy for Helena High,” Upham said. “But Flathead High has got great kids and I’ll be a huge fan. I can’t wait to be a fan for these guys.”

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