Kevin Petritz takes head job at Great Falls High

By Bill Foley

Butte High is once again in the market for a new girls’ soccer coach.

Kevin Petritz, a Butte High graduate who led the Bulldogs the last four seasons, confirmed today that he is leaving the Mining City to become the head coach of the girls’ soccer team at Great Falls High.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Petritz said. “I’ll definitely miss my girls, but I hope I have a successful future in Great Falls.”

The move came after the Bulldogs put together one of their more competitive seasons in recent school history. The team ended the season with a 1-11-1 record after an overtime playoff loss at, coincidentally, Great Falls High.

The Bulldogs, though, were in more games than they were in previous years.

“Going through our stats, we had more shots on goal last year than in the first three years combined,” Petritz said. “It was by double digits, too.”

Petritz, 34, moved from Billings to his hometown to take over the Butte High program in 2013. He came back to town after playing four years at Montana State University Billings and coaching four years with the women’s soccer program at MSUB. He also coached club soccer in Billings for four years.

Under Petritz, the Bulldogs won just two games — both against Great Falls High — as the program struggled with numbers. The Bulldogs rarely had enough players to fill a varsity and junior varsity team at the same time.

“I have no answer,” Petritz said of the low number of girls going out for the soccer team. “I’ve tried everything.”

Chuck Merrifield, Butte High’s activities, director said Petritz’s move is a loss for the school.

“He’s a tough one to replace,” Merrifield said. “He did a great job. The kids like him.”

Petritz said he felt he had to take the opportunity while he was young and unattached. The 2001 Butte High graduate emphasized that he is not leaving because he wasn’t happy at his alma mater.

“It’s not that I don’t love Butte,” Petritz said. “I just have to take a chance. It’s easier to do it now than when I’m 48.”

Merrifield said the school will likely start advertising the job opening in April.