Jackson JV coach chosen to take over Bulldogs' program after Ben Holt stepped down in April.
Matt Monter has been a part of a state-championship program. Now, he's hoping to bring that kind of success to his first head-coaching position.
Monter was selected as the new head boys basketball coach at Dalton High School. He was the junior varsity coach at Jackson this past season, where he was a part of the Polar Bears' Division I state title.
"I've reached out to a lot of contacts that I have in the coaching community that are a lot older than I am and have a lot more experience, and when I mentioned Dalton to them, each one of them had the same response," Monter said Wednesday. "It was very positive; very enthusiastic. Just great kids; great facilities; great community support. As I went into Dalton myself and got to meet a couple of the players myself and see the facilities and sit down with the administration, I found that all to be 100-percent true. It's a great place."
Monter's hiring is pending approval of the Dalton Board of Education. That is expected to occur at its regularly-scheduled meeting Tuesday.
He was chosen from a group of four finalists.
"He had a very strong vision for the program," Dalton High School Principal Nate Stutz said of Monter. "In that vision, it was about establishing very high expectations. Furthermore, he just has a plan to continue building upon the successes of the program. Another piece to that is that he's a relational individual and he just stresses and emphasizes the relationships with the students and the athletes."
Monter spent the last four seasons with the Jackson program. Prior to joining the Polar Bears, he spent three years as an assistant in the Louisville program.
Time spent in both of those programs has helped to mold his coaching philosophy. So, too, has his father Dave, a longtime basketball coach in the area.
"The two guys I've worked for directly - (Louisville's) Tom Siegfried and (Jackson's) Tim Debevec - they were really great for any young coach to work for," said Monter, who admitted he was going to hit the ground running at Dalton with the all-important month of June approaching. "They are really good at giving their assistants a lot of input and a lot of responsibilities. ... You just kind of soak that all in."
The 32-year-old is a graduate of Ohio University, with a master's from the University of Notre Dame. He primarily serves as the credit recovery coordinator - responsible for all digital platforms in the school - as well as teaches government at Jackson High School.
Currently, Stutz said, there are no teaching positions available in the Dalton district for Monter.
The position at Dalton opened up in April when Ben Holt stepped down, saying at the time he wanted to spend for time with his family. He has since been hired as the head coach at Triway, which is the district in which he resides.
Holt was 66-31 in his four years at Dalton, including an 18-8 mark this past season. The Bulldogs reached their first district championship game since 2005 before losing to eventual Division IV state champion Lutheran East.
That success was merely a continuation of what has been a lengthy run of coaches who have seen plenty of highs on the basketball court at Dalton. Among those coaches was Stutz, who had preceded Holt on the bench.
For Stutz, a former Dalton player as well, he sees reasons why Monter will fit in well in his new community.
"Beyond the pieces that I've already mentioned, the one thing that I perceive strongly is that he's a very honest man," Stutz said. "I think he'll be very honest in his communications with people. I think he has the ability to have those tough conversations at times that head coaches have to have not only with parents, but athletes as well. He has the appropriate demeanor. He seems like a pretty calm and objective guy, and those are things that I think fit well."
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