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Whitefish’s Byrd Wins Regional Coach of the Year Award
The award qualifies Byrd for National Coach of the Year along with six other finalists from across the nation
O'Brien Byrd, front, speaks to members of the Flathead Rapids mens soccer team before practice. - File photo Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon
O’Brien Byrd, the head boys soccer coach at Whitefish, has been named the Regional Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

The award qualifies Byrd for National Coach of the Year along with six other finalists from across the nation.

Byrd earned the top award out of high school coaches throughout the West after being nominated by fellow coaches throughout the state. He went up against coaches in western states like Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.

Nominees are judged by their season accomplishments as well as knowledge of the game, conduct on the field, community involvement and more, according to the NSCAA.

“It’s really unbelievable and just an incredible honor,” Byrd said.

Since taking over as head coach in 2003, Byrd has guided Whitefish to four Class A state championships, including the last two. He won his 100th career game this past season against his high school alma mater, Columbia Falls.

This season Whitefish capped another undefeated season. Since the fall of 2006, the Bulldogs have compiled a 77-12-6 record, including a 43-game undefeated streak between 2006-08. In 2007 the team became the first to win back-to-back state titles and go undefeated in back-to-back seasons.

Byrd will travel to Indianapolis on Jan. 16 for the four-day NSCAA convention.

RELATED: The Kings of Montana’s Soccer Capital
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