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Betting on himself

by JOSH McDONALD
Local Editor | June 7, 2024 2:46 PM

MULLAN –– After 13 years in the Mullan School District, Stetson Spooner is changing it up. 

Spooner served the district as head football coach, athletic director, and the small district’s P.E. and health teacher, but decided to step down from all positions at the conclusion of the 2023/24 school year.  

During his time as head coach, Spooner guided the Tigers to several North Star League championships and state playoff berths, sending numerous players off to compete at the collegiate level. 

“Mullan has a ton of positives, but for me, it just felt like a change was needed,” Spooner said.

The success hasn't come without its fair share of challenges, including navigating low numbers, losing a season due to those numbers, and then spending one year playing unsanctioned 6-man ball just to put a team on the field. 

This coming season, the Mullan Football Program will continue its co-op with nearby St. Regis High School in Montana, but they will compete in Montana’s Western 8-Man division under head coach Jesse Allan, who had served as Spooner’s lead assistant during the previous six seasons. 

“The program is in beyond good hands with Jesse,” Spooner said. “With the Tigers competing in Montana this year it makes a lot of sense for him to run the show and I know that he’s going to do an excellent job.” 

During his 13-year tenure, Spooner coached every sport Mullan had to offer, except girls' basketball and volleyball. 

“More than anything, I’m going to miss the kids the most,” Spooner said. 

Spooner, who has a master's degree in education, had looked into a few administrative positions in neighboring states and districts but ultimately decided to bet on himself by staying local and going into private-sector sales. 

“There’s a lot of money in this world, I’d like to touch some of it,” Spooner said. “I have a good opportunity to jump on board with a buddy and get in on the ground level of something that could be really special.” 

Mullan High School Principal Jacki Almquist wished Spooner the best in his future endeavors. 

Spooner affirmed that his decision to leave was based solely on opportunity and that he has no negative feelings toward the Mullan School District.

“I’m not leaving the Mullan community, my kids will still go to school here, my home is here, I love it here,” Spooner said. “This school and this community have been so good to me, Mullan is a special place.”