Summers is excited about his new role at Berryville schools

Thursday, August 1, 2002

"I'm excited and think it's a good challenge, for me, and my family," former Bobcat basketball coach Matt Summers said about his recent step up into administration.

Summers will be wearing three hats, as the Dean of Students, Director of Transportation, and Assistant Athletics Director at Berryville High School, starting immediately.

His opportunity came when David Bennett, who held two of those titles, submitted his resignation in order to become the Assistant Principal at Green Forest High School.

How sudden was Summers' opportunity?

"I was approached (by the administration) after David submitted his resignation in July," Summers said. "I didn't know he was leaving. When they called me in, I said, 'Uh oh,' but it was a good thing. They asked me what I wanted to do.

"Dr. Roberts, Mr. Harvell and I have had multiple conversations over the last two years about this move. I still was very surprised, and honored at the same time. It took a couple of days to sink in.

"I talked it over with my family, we prayed, and I finally realized it was a great opportunity. It happened the week before a vacation we had planned to Disney World.

"I was reassigned, but was given that choice. The administration was understanding either way (coaching or administration). Either way, they were going to have a late hire, either for administration or coaching.

"I was last on the docket at the board meeting that Monday (July 15), and didn't get out of the meeting until midnight. We left for the airport at 6:30 the next morning for Florida and Disney World. It was weird timing.

"The negative was not being able to talk to players before leaving the next morning," he said. "That really hurt me. I've always had open communication with the players.

"I've seen most of them since being back, and most have realized it's a good opportunity for me."

Summers will also be working to earn his Master's degree in administration over the next two years, with classes through Lindenwood University out of St. Charles, Mo., at satellite campuses in Nixa, Branson, and other towns nearby.

As far as the boys' basketball program he manned for six years, Summers feels that he has left it in good shape.

"Being a basketball coach is like being a landowner," he said. "You don't own it, you just look over it for a while. My Dad always said, 'Leave it better than you found it.'"

During his tenure as coach, the senior boys were regional qualifiers three years in a row, in 1998, 1999, and 2000. His junior high boys were 1AA East Conference champs in 1997-98, with a 13-3 overall record, and a perfect 8-0 league mark.

This past year, Summers led the Bobcats to the championship of the Omaha Border Classic, and his Junior Bobcats were the champs of the Marshall Invitational.

Summers said there are lots of applications for the head boys' basketball job, and that last week the school was still taking resums while they looked for the best person for the job.

They've already made their choice for Dean of Students, Transportation Director, and Assistant Athletics Director.

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