Coach Matt began coaching and tutoring children in 1999. He has over 100 wins in just three years of coaching travel and middle school basketball. Coach Matt led the 8th grade Thunder Struck team to a division 1 state championship and national runner-ups in 2014.
Coach Matt was the Varsity boys coach at Queen of Peace Middle School in Gainesville, Florida. Over the last three years Coach Matt has a combined record of 45 – 2 with three league championships and two conference championships. He has been the most successful coach in the 35+ years of the league.
Coach Matt was asked to coach a local 6th grade travel basketball team in 2013. He quickly learned that if the kids can’t pay, they can’t play – Financial disparities between team members meant that some young children simply couldn’t afford to be a part of an organized youth sports team that travels to compete with other cities and towns.
Realizing that the higher level of competition of the travel team could be a stepping stone to a spot on a high school team and eventually a college scholarship, Coach Matt refused to leave any child behind. He became dedicated to removing economic barriers to those players whose families could not afford the costs of team travel.
As a result, when Coach Matt was asked to coach a local 8th grade travel basketball team in 2014, he funded all travel costs, tournament fees and equipment costs for the year-long program himself. With socio-economic barriers removed, the team flourished; his example of treating everyone equally regardless of their economic background led to players treating each other with greater respect. Today everyone on the team has the equal opportunity to play because time on the court is based on hard work and academic achievement rather than an ability to pay travel costs and tournament fees.
For some youth, these memorable team travel experiences are the first time they have been outside of the greater Gainesville area. These young men recognize the opportunity they have been given and the investment in them by Coach Matt. In return, they play their hearts out each and every game and are motivated to do well in school so they can do so.