Former Lame Deer prep football star and boys’ basketball coach Allen Fisher died Monday in a swimming accident on the Tongue River, the Billings Gazette reported.
Fisher, who coached the Lame Deer boys’ hoop team that qualified for its first trip to the State B tournament in March of 2017, was 37.
“Al, he was genuine, caring, nice guy,” Lame Deer athletic director August “Tiger” Scalpcane told Jeff Welsch of 406mtsports.com. “He was a really good motivator to kids. He was just … there’s so much to say about him. You couldn’t teach the heart he had for these kids, the passion had to work with them and help them.”
Former Heart Butte and Browning basketball superstar Michael Chavez, a former coach and administrator at Lame Deer, took to Facebook to pay tribute to Fisher.
Chavez, who played in the NCAA Tournament while a member of the Montana Grizzly basketball team, grew up on the Crow Reservation in eastern Montana before moving to northcentral Montana and the Blackfeet Reservation.
Cheyenne country lost one of its greats,” said Chavez in a Facebook post. “One of the kindest, intelligent, and articulate people I had the opportunity of knowing. Hands down one of the fastest athletes around. Great ball player with one of the best basketball IQs. Great coach, and back in High School one of the best football players in the State of Montana. From the time we were little kids to adulthood, Al was always fearless….Never backed down from anything. He was one of those individuals known all over Indian country. Even with all his accolades he was the nicest person you could meet. Someone who would keep you laughing all day…… Always shaking anyone’s hand and visiting all the Old folks who would pull him aside. Great man who will be missed all over Indian country. Glad To call him my cousin/bro. Prayers the Fisher family.
The Tongue River is a tributary of the Yellowstone River, flowing for more than 250 miles in Wyoming and Montana. The Tongue rises in Wyoming’s Big Horn Mountains, flows through northern Wyoming and southeastern Montana and empties into the Yellowstone River at Miles City.