After having wrestled in his own high school career, Matt Ray has revived his old passion by becoming Northwood’s new wrestling coach. The Howler had an opportunity to discuss his new responsibilities and hopes for the team’s season with him.
Victor Chang and David Huang: Why did you decide to become a wrestling coach?
Matt Ray: I decided to become a wrestling coach because I did a lot of wrestling for a few years when I was in high school, and I was really into it. And when I heard that there was a job opening at Northwood, I didn’t want the program to end because it means something to me. So I took the job.
VC and DH: What are your biggest responsibilities?
MR: One of my biggest responsibilities is trying to help students strike a balance in their lives. I want them to work hard whether it be in sports or academics, anything. But I also want them to get the chance to stop and see how much they’ve accomplished after some time. As their coach, it’s also my personal duty to fulfill that and do whatever I can to help them succeed.
VC and DH: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a coach?
MR: The biggest challenge was adjusting to all the different things that coaches must know and do. And getting familiar with the curriculum. Also being prepared every day to challenge my class with whatever practice schedule I had laid out. I’m still getting used to it, but that comes with time.
VC and DH: What is the best part of your job?
MR: The best part about my job would be to see these kids grow. Many come in not knowing a thing about wrestling. So it’s very important to me personally when I see them grow to like the sport and actually have fun and win. Those moments are the most fulfilling. And that’s why I love this job.
VC and DH: What do you see that is special about Northwood’s athletes?
MR: Northwood’s athletes have an admirable sense of compassion towards each other. I’ve worked with people in the past who were very self-centered, but Northwood’s different. Even though high school sports can be very competitive, they always look out for each other and those they’re playing against.