BAY CITY — The interview process played an important role in determining who would become Bay City’s athletic director and head football coach.
Katy Seven Lakes offensive coordinator Pat Matthews stood out to the administrators and selection committee members.
“Of all the candidates I spoke to, he knew more about Bay City than anyone,” said Bay City Superintendent Marshall Scott III. “He knew the names of neighborhoods, he knew the name of kids, he knew the names of administrators, the coaches.
“I mean, he had really done his homework. But the presentation he gave us was absolutely genuine, directly from his heart. But he wants to win, and ultimately in Bay City, we want to win, especially the superintendent himself.”
Matthews received unanimous approval for the position from the Bay City school district board of trustees Monday night at a special-called board meeting.
The school district received 73 applications for the position and interviewed eight candidates before narrowing the field to three finalists.
“I’ve been in what people would consider a small town,” Matthews said. “Those are some of the greatest moments I’ve had because it was a community-based type deal. When you won a game, everybody was proud. When you lost a game, everybody was sad. But you came back the next week because you wanted to bring that pride back.”
Matthews, 40, has coached at Seven Lakes since 2013. He was previously an assistant at Katy Taylor, Aldine Nimitz, Rosenberg Lamar Consolidated, Pasadena Rayburn and West Orange-Stark.
Matthews will replace Lupe Florez, who resigned in February to become the head football coach at Clear Brook.
“I think coach Florez did a great job of bringing back the pride and respect,” Matthews said. “Everybody knows the Blackcats now. Since that foundation has been laid, now it’s time to put some levels on it.
“Now it’s time to take those young men to the brick and the community that’s going to be the mortar and start stacking up and building different levels so we can get past the second round,” he added. “So we can have a three-, four-round playoff run. So that we can be the program we want to be.”
Matthews inherits a program that advanced to the Class 4A, Division I area playoffs before finishing with a 7-4 record.
The Blackcats return a number of starters, including all-state quarterback Dylan Davidson.
“We’re multiple. I won’t commit myself to one offense,” Matthews said. “I’ve been in an I-system, I’ve been in a spread system and I’ve been successful in both. So it’s really more of tailoring what we do to the kids you have. If you can get the most out of them, you’re going to be successful.”
Matthews attended Monday’s meeting with his wife, Meka, and sons Tavian, 19, and D.J., 4.
He plans to begin work at Bay City next week.
“I want to be technically and fundamentally sound,” Matthews said. “That way our kids can play hard; they can fly around and let the chips fall where they may. But if the kids are executing and playing at a level, then I think we’re going to be fine.”