Meg Murphy honored with first Jim Scown Award

Meg Murphy honored with first Jim Scown Award
Butte Central girls' basketball coach Meg Murphy watches her Maroons during the Western A Divisional tournament at the Butte Civic Center last February. (Butte Sports file photo)

Longtime Butte coach and athlete Meg (Haran) Murphy added yet another award to her résumé Saturday night.

Murphy received the first Jim Scown Distinguished Little League Graduate Award in front of a packed house at Casagranda’s Steakhouse in Butte.

The award was presented by Montana Little League District 2 during its annual banquet.

The crowd also watched as Butte’s Bob and Dee Scalabrin received the distinguished Dale Clausen Spirit of Little League Award.

From left, Don Davis, Dee Scalabrin, Keith Miller, Ned Ellingwood and Bob Scalabrin pose for a photo Saturday night. (Courtesy photo)

From left, Don Davis, Dee Scalabrin, Keith Miller, Ned Ellingwood and Bob Scalabrin pose for a photo Saturday night. (Courtesy photo)

“It was a great night,” said Keith Miller, District 2 administrator.

Scown, 88, was among those in attendance for the yearly District 2 banquet. He was the president of the Northwest Little League in Butte from 1970-1995. In 1974, Scown was instrumental in starting the first girls’ softball league in Montana.

Miller said it was fitting that Murphy, a 2009 inductee into the Butte Sports Hall of Fame, was among a group of girls who approached Scown about playing baseball. That led to Scown starting the softball league, Miller said.

The Scown Award will be given yearly a candidate who graduated from the Little League program, came back to help in the program and used the principles learned in the program later in life.

Miller said Murphy, who got her coaching start in Little League, perfectly fits that category, pointing out a time several years ago when a Little League All-Star softball team in Butte was in dire need of a coach.

“Her and Katie English came back just on a phone call to take that team,” Miller said.

In her professional career, Murphy’s coaching success is well known. She led Butte Central’s softball team to three state titles (1997, 1999 and 2000). She also guided the Maroons girls’ basketball teams to state titles in 2011 and 2016.

Murphy’s Maroons will take a 24-game winning streak into this weekend’s tip-off tournament in Missoula.

“She brings out the best in everybody,” Miller said. “That’s always been impressive.”

As a Little League player, Murphy was part of a state champion five straight years.

Clawson was an instrumental volunteer that helped build the Little League program in Missoula. He passed away in 2006, and the award was first presented the following year.

Bob and Dee Scalabrin are longtime Butte volunteers who were instrumental in running the Butte Mile High program for many years.

Past recipients of the Clawson Award include Butte’s Ned Ellingwood (2007), Joan O’Neill (2010) and Mike Parent (2013).

The yearly District 2 Banquet rotates between Butte, Great Falls and Missoula. Next year’s event will be held in Great Falls, where it will honor members of that community.

Miller said it is important to honor the volunteers who help make Little League possible.

“Community-based programs don’t just show up,” Miller said. “A lot of people from a lot of time have been building the foundation.”

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