Eric Hamilton returns to MCHS sidelines as girls head basketball coach |

Eric Hamilton returns to MCHS sidelines as girls head basketball coach

David Pressgrove / Craig Press
Moffat County High School coach Eric Hamilton directs players as they head back onto the court for the second half against Gunnison in 2018. Hamilton was recently named the new MCHS Girls Basketball Head Coach
Andy Bockelman / Craig Press File

After a year watching from the stands, Eric Hamilton will return to the sidelines at Moffat County High School. Hamilton was hired as the head girls basketball coach last week. The hiring was a year removed after Hamilton had coached the boys program for eight years.

“I feel really grateful for the unbelievable opportunity to coach the girls,” he said. “I’m very excited and we are already getting workouts going on an individual basis.”

This will be Hamilton’s third stint as a head basketball coach in the Yampa Valley. He first coached the varsity girls in Hayden from 2008-11. He was then hired as the boys coach at MCHS and served in that position from 2012-19. During that stint his teams won multiple league and district titles as well made a trip to the Great Eight in 2014, finishing sixth, which was deeper in the state tournament than any boys team had been in 25 years.

“One of the greatest joys in my life was getting to coach my son (Matt) for four years,” he said. “A significant motivation to coach the girls was to get to coach my daughter, Halle, for her final two seasons.”

Another motivator for Hamilton to apply for the position was the amount of talent currently on the roster and coming up for MCHS.

“I’ve been able to take a year and watch Halle and her teammates play, which I couldn’t always do when I was coaching boys,” he said. “I also helped with middle school age AAU and I know quite a few of the girls coming up. There is a lot of ability now and in the future.”

Hamilton will take the reigns of a team that returns its top three scorers in Cayden King (11.3 ppg), Halle (10.3) and Emaleigh Papierski (8.4) along with the core of all but two seniors who played significant minutes in 2019-20.

“The potential for success is there,” Hamilton said. “I’m fortunate to come into the situation with how it’s set up.”

Hamilton steps into a program that has traditionally been one of the most successful at MCHS despite recent turnover at the head coaching position. He is the fifth head coach since Craig Mortensen held the position for 28 years until 2009.

“I had a strong interest in being on the girls side of things,” he said. “Looking back at my time in Hayden I really enjoyed coaching the girls there and I’m excited to coach Halle and her teammates.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.