A good chunk of Bobby Matthews’ heart will always be with Frederick High School.
Yet simple math and an opportunity to streamline his coaching endeavors forced Matthews to make this decision with his head instead.
On Monday, Niwot athletic director Chase McBride announced that Matthews will take over as the Cougars’ head wrestling coach. Matthews has spent the past four seasons as Niwot’s head softball coach and also served this past winter as the head wrestling coach at Frederick.
The opportunity to no longer be forced to juggle high-profile coaching jobs at schools roughly a half hour apart proved alluring enough to pull Matthews from his Frederick roots.
“My heart told me to stay at Frederick. But the smart decision, and the right decision, for both programs is this,” Matthews said. “At Frederick, they just need someone who can be there for wrestling full-time. And at Niwot, it will be good for me to be in one place.
“At Frederick, I couldn’t be there enough. Especially in the fall, when you’re getting amped up for the (wrestling) season. Well, that wasn’t happening in the halls because I was at Niwot for softball practice. It had to be done on email or social media or texts. It wasn’t face-to-face. What it came down to was what kind of programs the kids deserve. And I know the kids at Frederick deserved something more than that.”
Matthews debated which position he should apply for a year ago when both the Frederick and Niwot head coach jobs were open, but opted to keep his wrestling attention focused on his alma mater at Frederick. Prior to taking over the Warriors program Matthews served 13 seasons as an assistant under his former coach, Frederick legend Gerry Galway.
Yet with Matthews running a healthy and successful program with Niwot softball — the Cougars reached the Class 4A state tournament last fall and played in the title game in 2012 — the opportunity to ply his respective trades at one school was too good to pass.
Matthews inherits one of the area’s best in junior-to-be Tommy Stager, who placed sixth at 113 pounds as a freshman and fourth this past season at 120 pounds. He takes over for Chad Johnson, who spent one season leading the Cougars in the wake of a nine-season run by former coach Scott Sanchez.
“When the coaching job came open at Frederick, I’d been waiting so long for that I felt like I had to give it a shot,” Matthews said. “This will benefit both programs and I’m definitely at peace with my decision. At Niwot, I’m excited to be able to do all my offseason workouts back-to-back.”
Follow Pat on Twitter: twitter.com/prooney07