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Nyack High School Coach, 1958-1977

Throughout his career as an educator, coach and sports official, Ed Matott held himself and others to the same high expectations. He gave his best and expected the best from those who played for him, who officiated his games and the coaches whose games he officiated at both the high school and college level.

In his playing days, Ed was a pitcher of note at SUNY Oswego. After starting his teaching and coaching career in a tiny school district near Oswego, Ed moved to Rockland in 1959. A year later, he helped pitch the Spring Valley Bengals to the 1960 New York / New Jersey Semi-Pro Championship.

But Ed is most revered for his work with young people, guiding them in their performance at the junior high school, high school junior varsity and varsity levels. Even outside the class- room, he spent many summers working with Nyack youth to keep them out of trouble and help develop their sports skills.

His coaching career started in upstate New York’s Red Creek Central School District where from 1956 to 1958 he had a 17-3 record coaching soccer and a 21-7 record coaching junior varsity baseball.

Arriving at the Nyack School District in the fall of 1958, he coached his only season of football, guiding the Nyack Junior High School squad to an impressive 6-2 record.

From 1959 to 1969, Ed coached junior varsity baseball at Nyack High School, amassing a record of 99 wins and 75 losses.
During that same stretch, Ed also coached Nyack’s varsity “B” soccer teams to an astounding 110-10 record. Together with his record at Red Creek, Ed has an impressive overall high school soccer record of 127-13.

Ed took over the Nyack varsity basketball team in 1962 and coached for 14 seasons until his retirement from the court in 1977.
During that tenure, Ed had a single losing season, but many feel that didn’t qualify as his greatest accomplishment in coaching.
That came after a year away from the game. While he was on sabbatical, the team went 0-16.

He returned to the bench after the 1973-74 season and coached the team to the first of two back-to-back Public School Athletic League championships in 1974-75 and 1975-76 to go along with a Section 9 championship won in the 1969-70 season.

He compiled a career Rockland Public School Athletic School record of 133-75, a winning percentage of 64 percent. His overall Nyack record was 158-106 for a 60 percent winning percentage. Along the way, he coached some of Rockland’s finest, including Ron Edwards, Jimmy Mack, Robbie Woods, Kevin Kane and Ken Riesen and had on-the-court battles with Lou Kliewe, Ed McGrath and Tom Collins, among others.

Ed had a reputation for being tough on officials, a right he felt he had earned by being regarded as one of the top officials in the area.

As a high school soccer official, Ed officiated the first-ever New York State high school championship game, played at Cornell University, as well as several other state championships and Sectional and Regional finals. He also worked as the lead demonstration official at national and state clinics for officials. He was a founding and charter member of the Rockland Soccer Officials Association.

Ed logged more than 37 years as a soccer official. In addition to averaging 25 high school games each year, he also officiated an average of 20 collegiate soccer games a season.
From 1964 on, Ed has been a member of the New York State Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association Executive Committee and served as the organization’s president-elect in 1983-84 and president in 1985-86.

Former Albertus Magnus and Pearl River Athletic Director Tom Collins has known Ed for more than 50 years and has experi- enced Ed’s dedication and high-level performance on a number of levels.

At Nyack Junior High School, Ed taught Tom Citizen Education and History. He remembers Ed as “a dedicated and revered educator.”

Later, after Tom majored in physical education at Manhattan College and began his own coaching career and became an ath- letic director, he witnessed Ed as a coach and as an official.

“In the world of officiating,” Tom Collins says, “Ed was, in my mind, the best soccer official in New York State. He was firm with his calls and with his control of the game.”
Ed’s excellence as an official was evident locally and across the state, Tom Collins says. “He was in high demand to officiate championship games on the county as well as state levels. When he arrived at a contest, coaches and players alike were confident in his ability to call a fair game.”

Tom Collins believes Ed’s greatest achievement was bringing the Nyack basketball team back from a winless season to win the 1974-75 PSAL championship. That accomplishment earns Ed status as “a legendary coach” in Tom Collins’ eyes. The championship won Ed designation as The Daily News Coach of the Year from Rockland in 1975.