Trey Magnuson will take over Knight’s Softball for the 2024 season.

    Trey Magnuson, a true Montanan and a proud alumnus of the University of Montana, is stepping into the spotlight as the new leader of Knight’s Softball for the 2024 season. His journey from local roots to a 20+ year career with the Los Angeles Dodgers is truly inspiring.

    While serving with the Dodgers, Coach Magnuson immersed himself in a world of unique and remarkable experiences. A vital member of the Dodgers Draft Room, where he assisted in selecting future stars like Clayton Kershaw, James Looney, Chad Billingsley, and Corey Seager. But his impact extended beyond the draft room. Coach Magnuson scouted and signed players, including two Major Leaguers: Zach McKinstry (from Central Michigan University) and Gavin Lux (from Indian Hills HS in Kenosha, Wisconsin).

    Indeed, it’s more than just the accolades. Coach Magnuson’s bond with the late, iconic Tommy Lasorda runs profound—Lasorda held the role of Coach Magnuson's son’s godfather. Furthermore, in 2020, Coach Magnuson’s unwavering commitment and significant contributions led to him being awarded a coveted World Series Ring as an integral part of the Dodgers’ triumphant journey.

    Coach Magnuson on Scouting – “Scouting was a magnificent journey. It demanded that you dissect players, unravel their unique talents, and pinpoint their skills. You were forced to pick apart what a player did right, but it also forced you to identify player flaws.  Flaws are inherent in a game that is built on failure, but being able to identify flaws and have the ability to correct them is next-level coaching.  This step is key to being a successful coach – identifying trouble areas and being able to fix the flaw.”

    Coach Magnuson’s dream was to draft a Montana kid.  “There are certainly athletes in Montana, we just have limitations that other states don’t have to contend with.  The Montana weather is a big limitation for an outdoor sport such as Baseball and Softball.  Kids in California and Texas are playing year-round, as the kids in Montana are playing 5 maybe 6 months.  Both players that I signed and are now playing in the Big Leagues came from weather similar to Montana (Lux-Wisconsin and McKinstry-Michigan/Indiana).”

    Coaching is another limitation that Montana kids face.  Coaching in Montana is mostly done by parents or coaches with some playing experience at high school or some college – which is awesome – but the problem comes when a coach’s goal is to focus on the “Win”.  Typically the focus on the “Win” comes at the expense of proper skill development.  Winning certainly makes it easier for the coach to recruit for their next team, but if the player doesn’t develop the proper skill – are those coaches helping the player?  I want my coaching staff to focus on player development – making sure that the girls have the correct skills and perform them correctly. 

    At the high school level, players with subpar mechanics can still achieve wins because their opponents often exhibit similar deficiencies or possess lower skill levels. However, when these same players transition to college, they face tougher competition. Improved pitching and hitting at the collegiate level reveal the flaws that high school coaches may have overlooked. Unfortunately, these weaknesses can negatively impact a player’s performance in college

    By focusing on Developing the player and teaching the proper mechanics – the players will be college-ready – and as a byproduct, the HS team will win.  I want every Montana girl that wants to play at the next level to have that opportunity - I want to help her get to a spot where colleges are talking to her and that she is ready to succeed when she makes her choice.”

    College Coaching connection is another strength of Coach Magnuson.  Traveling to countless college campuses and developing a close relationship built on trust with a large number of college coaches – College coaches require players who can perform immediately because their job success often hinges on winning.   I have several high-level coaches as close contacts – I even used an elite college coach as a reference for this position.  Having these relationships is huge.  Knowing what a college coach expects getting the girls to achieve that skill and then having the girl go out and succeed – is the perfect coaching relationship.  I have talked to hundreds of college coaches and if I don’t know a particular coach – I am sure I know someone that knows them.  I want all my girls to have the opportunity to experience playing college – it will take hard work, passion, and drive on their part – but with the amazing coaching staff that we were able to assemble – I feel confident we can help many girls achieve this dream.

    Since taking the Head Coach Position in the Fall – Coach Magnuson has made contact with over 30 college coaches, with several already actively asking about his players.

    Coach Magnuson on the Hellgate Coaching Staff – Finding great coaches who believe in the same basic coaching principles is essential to the growing program.  Please read about the outstanding coaches that Hellgate Softball has in place for the 2024 season.  



    Coach Hood begins her first season as assistant coach/pitching coach for the Knights.

    She grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and began playing softball when she was 5 years old. She helped pitch her high school to the Nevada state championship during her senior year.

    She was recruited to play for the University of Montana softball team and helped lead the Grizzlies to the Big Sky Conference championship her freshman season, earning Most Valuable Player at the conference tournament. 

    Coach Hood’s name dominates the Grizzly record book:

    4-time Big Sky Conference pitcher of the week

    MVP of the 2017 Big Sky Conference tournament

    1st team Big Sky Conference 2017

    Lowest ERA in Lady Griz history, 2.93

    Lowest opponent batting average in Lady Griz history, .262

    2nd fewest walks allowed per 7-inning game, 2.51

    2nd most strikes per 7-inning game, 6.12

    2nd most wins, 30

    Most saves in Lady Griz history, 4

    2nd most appearances, 99

    Most games started, 69

    Most complete games, 35

    Most shutouts, 8

    Most innings pitched, 443.2

    2nd most strikeouts, 388

    2nd most strikeouts looking, 94

    Coach Hood graduated from the UofM in 2020 after Covid-19 cut short her senior campaign.

    Upon graduation, she returned to Las Vegas and served as a volunteer assistant coach with the UNLV softball team, before returning to Montana because of her love for the state.

    Coach Hood lives in Frenchtown.



    Coach Wells has coached youth sports for 12 years, from T-ball to baseball and fast-pitch softball. Growing up, he played a variety of sports including basketball, rugby, softball, wrestling, archery and baseball.

    He played American Legion baseball with the Helena Senators. He also played 2 seasons with the University of Montana club baseball team, where he was a charter member of the team. 

    At the UM, he was a cheerleader on the Griz Cheer Squad for 2 years, graduating in 1997.

    Fun facts about Coach Wells: in 1983 and 1985, he was the Montana State Youth Archery bare-bow champion, and as an athlete growing up he broke 9 bones, had 4 dislocations and has 3 screws in his right knee. 

    He and his wife have 2 children and he is an avid fly fisherman. He lives in Missoula.



    Coach Yarbrough begins his first season with the softball program but is no stranger to Hellgate High School. He is currently in his 8th year as the public address Voice of Hellgate Athletics.

    After a journalism career spanning nearly 4 decades in California and Oregon, he was the head boys’ basketball coach at Oakridge, Oregon, High School, and an assistant coach with the St Regis High School girls’ basketball program. 

    He has coached youth softball, baseball, and basketball over the years, and was the radio Voice of the Lady Griz basketball team in 2021-22.

    Coach Yarbrough lives in Superior.