HURON — A 1978 graduate of Milbank High School, who has spent more than 30 years coaching football in Texas, has been named as the next head coach for the Huron Tigers.
The hiring of Scott Spanton as the head football coach and a physical education teacher at the high school was approved Monday at the Huron Board of Education meeting.
“Even though I retired from public education down here a little over a year and a half ago, I still had a passion to coach if the right opportunity arose. The timing was right and that’s kind of what fell into place here,” Spanton said of his desire to become the next coach for the Tigers.
“We also have two other kids that are up in Jamestown, N.D.; they both went to the University of Jamestown (which is his alma mater). They enjoyed it so much up there, they decided to make it their home, and they’ve given no indication over the past couple of years that they’ve been up there that they are going to move closer to us. So we thought let’s look for opportunities to get closer to them.”
Spanton was a multi-sport athlete during his high school career at Milbank and was able to continue participating in football and track at what was then known as Jamestown College.
“I was able to play for legendary coach Raleigh Greeno, running track for him and played football,” Spanton said.
“I had a lot of success, especially on the football side of it, so I started to get myself a little bigger and stronger over the summers,” he said. “Our senior class was 30-5 in four years and had a national playoff appearance our sophomore year, so all those things were great. It was those great experiences that kind of propelled me towards getting into education or the coacing field based upon getting to know coach Greeno and what type of person he was. Building relationships with kids and all those things are kind of postive influences that steered me in that direction.”
After graduating for Jamestown College, Spanton spent two years doing various jobs in the Fargo/Moorhead area, while waiting for his then girlfriend and now wife to graduate from North Dakota State University. His first full-time position was in Rugby, N.D., where he spent two years before heading back to school at Northern State University in Aberdeen, where he was a graduate assistant for the football team.
“I was working as the GA in football for Dennis Miller, who just came in from BYU, he was a two-year grad assistant there, so I was fortunate enough to get hooked up with him and his staff and was on the same staff with coach Stiegelmeier, who is at SDSU now and has had a long history of success there,” Spanton said. “You couldn’t ask for two finer people to learn from, and then after I graduated from there I met a gentleman who was a GA, as well, who came back and went to undergrad at Northern. He had actually worked down in Texas for a year or two, so it was narrowed down to if you want to coach high school football in my mind you might as well do it where it is the best and there were three states I had in mind.”
Spanton’s first coaching opportunity in Texas was at Boerne High School and his final one was at the Texas Military Institute in San Antonio, where he was the offensive cordinator/quarterback coach.
Although his contract with the Huron School District doesn’t start until August, Spanton is anxious to get the ball rolling with his new duties for the Tigers.
“I’m going to try to make it up there periodically during the summer and hopefully here in a couple weeks to get introduced to the kids and the staff,” Spanton said.
“I’d like to make a couple trips up there during the course of the summer to get things going on that end of it and obviously communicate with the staff that is already there to get a plan organized. I already have one, but now I have to communicate with them and get a lot of input from them because they obviously know the kids a lot better than I do,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of planning and meetings to try to come up with the best possible plan to continue the success they had last year and build on it in the future.”