Saturday, February 24, 2024

Second-year Bulldog basketball coach has team rolling

by BRANDON HANSEN For the Pilot
| January 24, 2024 1:00 AM

Whitefish head basketball coach Alex Gonzalez is celebrating this week, as Jan. 22 is his 51st birthday. The second-year Bulldog coach has his team on a winning streak and undefeated in Northwest A Conference play. He also has been super appreciative of the community he is coaching in.

“Everybody has been amazing,” Gonzalez’s wife Melissa said.

Gonzalez is a retired detective for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. He also played college basketball for Feather River College in Quincy, California, before graduating from UNLV. Gonzalez coached AAU basketball in the past, and he and his wife Melissa worked with children in the Police Athletic League in various sports in Las Vegas.

The Gonzalezs came to Whitefish after a big RV trip with the family in 2020. The family decided to go through the Flathead Valley because they wanted to experience the mountains, and they bought a townhouse in the area. While they had the house, they ended up living in Georgia and the Dominican Republic, for several months. 

Then they realized, however, that they loved Montana and decided to move to the Flathead Valley. After finding a house, Gonzalez decided to do substitute teaching since it afforded the family traveling during the summer.

After hearing the Whitefish community was looking for a new high school boys basketball coach, Gonzalez took the job in August 2022.

“He cannot say enough about the kids,” Melissa said. “He loves these kids and these players. The parents have been awesome to him and are always so open and welcoming.”

Melissa and Alex also have a 9-year-old son who loves going to practices and sitting on the bench during games.

“The players are so sweet to him; it’s just been a great transition,” Melissa said. “We’ll be here for a while, and our son loves it. I don’t think he wants to leave this beautiful community.”

While the Gonzalezs planned a low-key birthday on Monday, Melissa wanted to let the community know how much the family appreciates the community they’re living in and representing on the hardwood.

“He has gotten to know these parents and families, and he just can’t say enough,” Melissa said. “He absolutely loves it.”

This article didn’t quote Alex because Melissa wanted it to be a birthday surprise.

“Sometimes you hear about small towns not being welcoming to outsiders, but all we have found here are friends,” Melissa said.

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