Matt Scholl happy to return to coaching with Konkrete Kids
Northampton assistant boys’ basketball coach Matt Scholl recalled a period in his life when coaching wasn’t on the radar.
He had coached the freshman boys’s team at Whitehall, his alma mater, for three years, and figured it was the right time to focus on his family.
“It was when my daughter Kendall was born, and I decided to take a couple of years off,” noted Scholl. “I was teaching at Northampton at the time, and I had been coaching right out of college.”
But he soon discovered how timing can be everything via head coach Coy Stampone.
“When Coy got the job, we were both teaching close to each other at the school,” said Scholl. “He asked me if I wanted to coach the freshman team. I asked my wife Cristina, and she said ‘go for it.’”
Since then, it has been a magic eight-year ride for Scholl, who has been a varsity assistant for the past six seasons and also the summer league head coach.
It also has been a deepened, developed bond with Stampone, as both of them have melded together.
“I love coaching and teaching here,” said Scholl. “Coy and I have classrooms that are on top of each other, and we are a stairway apart. We often meet there to talk shop. It’s been great learning from one of the best (coaches) around.
“We’re both type-A personalities, and we’ll jump on things as soon as they come out. We’re at the point now where we can finish each other’s sentences.”
Stampone shares the same admiration.
“Matt is a Whitehall graduate and had an outstanding high school basketball career,” said Stampone. “Matt has a great relationship with the players, He loves the game, and is always looking at ways to improve the team. I am the old school guy and Matt brought some new school ideas to the program.
“Matt is loyal to the program and is a hard worker, He puts together our offseason lifting programs and like now during this pandemic, Matt put together a plan to keep the players in shape and engaged.
“When we have to make “in game” adjustments, I look to Matt to see what he sees and possibly make adjustments that need to be made on the fly or at halftime. His style is a perfect complement to what I wanted to implement here art Northampton.”
Scholl has entertained thoughts of being a head coach someday. However, those days don’t appear to be in the near future.
“I love Northampton,” he boasted. “One day, I could see myself being a head coach. But I really love it here with my coaching and teaching. My son, Kaden, is nine, and I hope I can see him through.
“I always have loved the Xs and the Os, but building relationships with the kids is the best part. I have been teaching seniors for a long time. These kids are in my classroom, and we can really build something together.”
Scholl also has adjusted to the changes in the game.
“When I was a freshman coach, I would go out and videotape a game,” he said. “But now there is HUDL, where schools will upload tapes. It has made it a lot easier, and Coy (Stampone) is the HUDL champion, as he always is using it.
“Nowadays, basketball pretty much is a full-season gig. Everybody is doing whatever they can, and after the season we take a couple of weeks off. But then we’re right back into it leading up to the season.”
Involved with districts as a player, Scholl had a different perspective when the Konkrete Kids advanced to the district final twice in the past three seasons.
“It was fun,” he said. “It always is something special. During my senior year, we won 18 games in a row, and I told them to try and match that.
“It was a great run during those two years, and you don’t forget it. During my junior year at Whitehall, I remember how the old-timers at the Uni-Mart used to get on us because we were close to missing districts for the first time in 33 years, but we made it.”
When his time comes, Stampone feels assured that Scholl is in the shadows.
“Each year I always evaluate the program and I contemplate the possibility of retiring from coaching and Matt always says “what else are you going to do?” Matt’s energy and the workload he has taken on for the program has kept me around.”