Return to Sports
by Mike Nutter
(August 18, 1998) Former Bridgeport High School basketball standout Matt Kerns will have a different view of the court this year.
Kerns was captain of the Class AA all-state basketball team and led the Indians to the state title in 1993 before playing at California (Pa.) University. Now, he will join Marshall University coach Greg White and his staff this season as a graduate assistant.
Kerns said the decision was not difficult.
"I think it took about two seconds for me to make up my mind," Kerns said. "This is an incredible opportunity to get my foot into coaching and plus get my master's degree."
Kerns graduated in May with a degree in administrative management and will pursue his master's in sports management.
"Basketball has basically been my life," Kerns said. "I always said after my playing days were over, I'd like to coach college basketball. Plus, if I decide coaching really isn't what I want to do, I'll still get my master's.
"It would've been hard for me to turn this down."
Kerns replaces former St. Francis standout Mark Downey, who served on the Marshall staff for two seasons.
Kerns will leave for Huntington on Wednesday, and will begin preparation for preseason as soon as he gets there.
"It's going to be a lot of responsibility, but it's something I don't mind doing at all," Kerns said.
Kerns' duties will include everything from getting film together to arranging practice times on the road and monitoring study halls.
Kerns says because of his age, he will be able to relate to the players easier than a head coach.
"I think if you have a problem it's easier to approach someone that's your age," he said. "It helps to bridge the gap that may be there between a player and a coach. I think the players will see me more as one of them."
And if coaching doesn't work, Kerns also can start work on his next dream.
"I'd love the chance to work in marketing somewhere in the NBA," he said. "This is sort of a no-lose situation for me. I'm just honored that coach White has given me this opportunity."