Dennehy resigns as Butte High coach, boys’ job also up for grabs

Butte High’s athletic department now has three positions to fill.

Liza Dennehy resigned as the head coach of the Butte High girls’ basketball program today.

Dennehy, who is a member of the Butte Sports Hall of Fame for her multi-sport athletic career in the Mining City, confirmed the resignation. She said she didn’t want to comment on the move, however.

Butte High activities director Chuck Merrifield, who is Dennehy’s brother, didn’t immediately return a message left for comment.

Dennehy’s resignation came hours after Butte High wrestling coach Jim Bob Humphrey stepped down as head coach of the Butte High wrestling team.

Also, the Butte school district will advertise the job for the Butte High boys’ head basketball position. Chad Jonart, who led the Bulldogs this season, was hired in an interim position after Terry Hauser resigned just before practice began in November.

“Chad will have to re-apply,” Eddie Zimpel, a school board trustee, said Tuesday night. “We’ll advertise all three positions at the same time and hopefully do some recruiting outside of Butte.”

Zimpel said the district is shooting for May 1 as a target date to have the positions filled.

“That will give us a month and a half,” Zimpel said.

The school district will see about 25 teachers retire at the end of this school year. That will be beneficial when attempting to hire a new coach, Zimpel said.

“That might help us recruit,” he said. “We can possibly offer a coach a teaching position that falls in their specialty.”

Jonart’s Bulldogs went 4-17 on the season. Butte High, which beat Butte Central in January, was competitive in a playoff loss at Billings West. The Golden Bears went on to play in the Class AA State championship game.

Dennehy led the Bulldogs for two seasons. She took over from Jeff Arntson after the long-time Butte High coach stepped down in June 2013.

The Bulldog girls went 2-19 this season, missing the Class AA State tournament after a playoff loss at Billings West.