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Adam Hiatt Frontier Conference Coach of the Year

March 2, 2023
For the second year in a row, the Hiatts gather at center court for a celebratory conference tourney win photo. From left to right; Addie, Mitchell, Reddick, Adam, Jaxon, Clara,
Jenica, Jaxon and grandparents Russ and Sulet.
By Mike Weland

Montana Tech head basketball coach Adam Hiatt, a 1997 graduate of Bonners Ferry High School and the son of Russ and Sulet Hiatt, was named Frontier Conference Coach of the Year after his Orediggers defeated the Providence Argos Tuesday night, 103-95, winning Montana Tech's second consecutive conference tournament championship. It was the highest scoring tourney championship in conference history.

Hiatt, coaching his seventh season for the Orediggers, led the team to one of the best records in school history, finishing 12-3 in conference and 24-4 during the regular season. The Orediggers won their second straight Frontier Conference Championship and Frontier Tournament. Tech hasn't won back-to-back championships since the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons and this is only the second time for the Orediggers in program history. Coach Hiatt led the Orediggers to nine consecutive wins, tying the longest streak in school history.

"We are so proud of this group and all that they have accomplished to date, "Hiatt said. "We won the league outright by a conference record five game margin; we won the conference tournament; we are currently ranked #10 in the country; we have a 26-4 overall record. Since we had such a consistent season we were awarded one of the 16 opening round host sites for our National Tournament. Tonight at 6 p.m. we will know what other three teams will come to Butte to begin the opening round this upcoming Tuesday. The winners of each of the 16 opening round sites will then advance to the Final Site, which is in Kansas City, Missouri. We are hopeful to advance to KC and compete for the national championship."

After graduating BFHS, Hiatt attended Ricks College as a student-athlete on the men's basketball team. He left the team for two years to serve a church mission in Argentina, then returned to Ricks and had two great years as an all-conference performer. After Ricks he transferred to Westminster College in Salt Lake City. While he was there, the Griffins won two consecutive conference championships and he was a two time all-American.

He is still Westminster's all-time leading scorer after playing just two seasons. After Westminster, he attended Brigham Young University for graduate school, earning his master's degree.

Hiat began his coaching career at the University of Idaho as an assistant coach for the Vandals in 2006. He returned to Westminster in 2008 to work as an assistant coach and was promoted to the head coach in 2011.

In 2016 he packed up his family and headed to Butte, where he took the head coaching job at Montana Tech.

"The Orediggers had not had much success for decades, but we believed it had a lot of potential," he said. "As we began building the program, we began to gain traction in our third season, as we achieved the program's first winning season and won the first postseason playoff game since the 1990s. From that point we have had some historic accomplishments. These past two seasons we have won the regular season and conference tournament championships, set school records for wins in a season, national rankings, and national tournament appearances. It is extremely hard to win a conference regular season championship, but it is even harder to win a conference tournament championship in the same year. This year's tournament was held at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls. We earned the right to play the University of Providence in the championship game. They are wildly talented and pushed us to the brink, but we have great players that stayed composed and we ultimately prevailed for the second consecutive year. It is difficult to express how fulfilling it is to share in the joy that comes at the end of so much hard work and sacrifice to accomplish something great together. It has been a tremendous experience coaching at this university."

Adam remains connected to Bonners Ferry, staying in touch with high school coaches and working with Bonners Ferry players at Montana Tech basketball camps, the most popular, he says, in Montana. Every August, he brings the Orediggers to Bonners Ferry for a team retreat prior to the start of the new season, and last summer, they put on a basketball clinic for the Badgers.

"I love sharing my roots with our players and coaching staff," he said. "I am so proud of what our Badger football team accomplished this past season and what our boys' basketball team has achieved so far. We are all rooting for them to win state this year too!"
The Orediggers enjoy a summer retreat in Boundary County's high country.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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