Upham hired as Braves head football coach

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Montana native Matt Upham has been tapped to coach the Flathead Braves football team, Activities Director Bryce Wilson announced in a press release on Tuesday.

Upham served as the Braves’ defensive coordinator for the past four years.

“I’m pretty excited,” Upham said. “Very fortunate for the opportunity that lies ahead for me.”

Three candidates were interviewed on Friday and Upham was notified on Monday that he got the job.

“Matt is committed to maintaining the level of play of the Flathead football program,” Wilson said in a press release. “Matt will continue the tradition and philosophy that he has been a part of these past 4 years.”

Wilson cited Upham’s “clear vision” of what is expected on and off the football field that made him the best candidate for the job.

Upham was raised in Helena, attended Helena High School and played safety and linebacker at Carroll College. He’s taught math at Flathead High School for four years.

“I’ve been around football my whole life,” Upham said.

In December 2018, former head coach Kyle Samson resigned to become the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Montana Tech, not long after the Braves fell 20-14 to Billings West in the Class AA state title game. Flathead made the playoffs three times during Samson’s five years with the program and finished 7-3 last season.

Samson sent a congratulatory text to Upham Tuesday morning. Upham said he’ll stay in touch with Samson during the season.

“As much as I can, but he’ll be busy too,” Upham said. “He’ll be a great resource for me to use.”

When asked what he learned from working with Samson for four years, Upham paused for a moment before responding.

“Establishing good relationships with parents and the community,” he said. “Keep it simple, make adjustments when necessary and continue to move forward on the path that’s set in front of us.”

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