Braves hire Weiss as new coach
Matt Weiss thought his time in soccer was over after he played his final season for the Otterbein University men's team in 2007.
Then he decided to make soccer his career.
The director of facility operations at SuperKick in Lewis Center, Weiss recently was named boys soccer coach at Olentangy High School.
"I just have such a passion for soccer," said Weiss, who was an assistant the past two years for the Braves after spending two years as an assistant at Dublin Scioto. "I just can't get enough of it."
Weiss, the 2010 Division II district Assistant Coach of the Year, replaces Dave Sebek, who compiled a 70-72-21 record in nine seasons. Sebek, who resigned in April to spend more time with his wife and three daughters, said Olentangy made a good hire.
"Matt is a very passionate, young coach who has dedicated himself to the game of soccer," Sebek said. "It was a pleasure to work with him. He does a fantastic job of relating to the kids and I think he will be a big asset at Olentangy."
Weiss takes over at a time when Olentangy seems to be on an upswing.
The Braves won their first OCC title in 2010, capturing the OCC-Cardinal Division with a 5-1-1 record, and they have reached a district final the last two years, losing to DeSales 2-1 in 2010 in Division II and losing to Reynoldsburg 2-1 (6-5 in penalty kicks) in Division I last fall.
Olentangy lost nine players from last fall's squad to graduation. Expected to return are seniors Chad Boak (midfielder), Andrew Burzynzki (defender), Tyler Clarkson (defender), Austin Horton (midfielder), Jake Mazzeo (midfielder), Joe Morycz (midfielder) and Alex Saunders (defender) and juniors Jon Bechtol (midfielder/forward), Donovan McGuire (goalkeeper), Adam Miller (goalkeeper), Chandler Parker (defender) and Logan Schwing (midfielder/forward).
Weiss said he'll emphasize conditioning and teamwork. The Braves began summer conditioning June 13 with timed two-mile and one-mile runs.
"They have a certain amount of time that they have to run those distances in," Weiss said. "They're going to see where they are and how much they need to work so they can get to the time limits we've set in August.
"I'm very big on teamwork. You need all 11 players contributing toward the team. When you have the ball, everyone is on offense. When you lose the ball, everyone is trying to get it back."
That philosophy was prevalent when Weiss was a midfielder for Worthington Kilbourne and Otterbein.
Kilbourne coach Jon Sprunger said Weiss is the first player he's coached to become the coach of a high school program.
"I'm not really surprised he went into coaching based on what he was like as a player," said Sprunger, whose team will play at Olentangy on Sept. 27. "Matt was a real student of the game. The ultimate accomplishment for a young athlete is to beat his mentor, so it will be fun the night we play Olentangy."