Log In

Reset Password

Scholl named boys hoop coach

These nights, Matt Scholl is doing what he usually does with the Northampton boys’ basketball team. Scholl has been coaching the varsity team in leagues as well as assisting with the JV and freshman programs.

It can be a laborious task, but it’s a little slice of heaven for Scholl.

However, Scholl will hold a different position than his varsity assistant one for the past eight seasons. On June 13, School was appointed as the Konkrete Kids’ new head boys’ coach.

Scholl succeeded Coy Stampone, who retired after last season, Stampone guided the Kids for 10 seasons and posted an overall mark of 107-76 and took his teams to two District 11 finals, three state tournaments in the last final years, and ended this past season in the state quarterfinals in a close 39-37 loss to Fox Chapel.

Since last season, Scholl was rumored to be the leading candidate to replace Stampone, who hinted in the past two years about stepping down.

When he officially received word after the school’s board meeting, Scholl certainly was elated. He finished his 17th year as a teacher in the system, and he previously was an assistant at Whitehall for three years.

Scholl and his wife Cristina have children Kendall, 13, and Kaden, 11, in the Northampton school system.

Simply speaking, he wouldn’t be anywhere else.

“I’m excited,” he stated. “It was a great 10 yeas working with Coy. I want to keep it going because Coy laid a great foundation.

“It is great to be a Konkrete Kid. Orange and Black is in my blood. I have kids in the district, and this was the job for me.”

Kids’ athletic director Shaun Murray knows he has the right candidate.

“We’re looking forward to Matt Scholl taking over the boys’ basketball program,” said Murray. “Not only has Matt played an integral role on staff for a decade, his involvement in our school and community make him the perfect choice to lead the program.”

Scholl took his cue from Stampone, as the duo spent 10 years together on the Kids’ bench. The new coach also was a freshman and JV coach for a season apiece.

“Working with Coy was a joy,” said Scholl. “He knows so much about basketball. I wanted to stay as long as he was going to stay. He gave me a lot of leeway. We really fed off each other well. We got to know each other’s moves and could complete each other’s sentences.”

Stampone also was grateful Scholl received the nod.

“Matt is an outstanding basketball coach who I have known for 10 years,” said Stampone. ‘He has grown in his responsibilities in 10 years, being the freshman coach, JV coach, and my varsity assistant playing a major role in the success of the Northampton boys basketball program.

“Matt was a major factor in our program’s success over my 10 years in building an elite basketball program. He has the passion and work ethic to continue the program’s success.”

Scholl, who was a standout at Whitehall High School and attended East Stroudsburg University, will inherit a team that graduated eight seniors from a 21-8 squad. Incoming sophomore Tristan Pinnock had the most experience in the rotation.

Scholl anticipates bringing back the coaching staff from last season, but he understands the composition of the team will certainly be different. Phil Hall will be his varsity assistant.

“Anytime you graduate that many, and there are a couple of teams in our area going through the same thing, you’ve got to find a new identity,” Scholl said. “We’ve been lucky in recent years. We’ve had a lot of talent and guys who played varsity basketball for three or four years. This year, we have just one guy who had significant varsity experience in Tristen Pinnock. So the rest of them are motivated and working really hard in the weight room.”

Scholl has been recognized as the team’s defensive guru, as he implemented their effective match-up zone defense over the years.

“We always have had guys with high basketball IQs,” he said. “We were able to do a lot of different things. We have to see what we have on the floor and match it up accordingly. We had guys lately like Issac Harris and Lucas Lesko who we knew could get us a bucket.”

With a new cast and the likelihood of a rebuild staring at him in the process, Scholl still wouldn’t trade his position for another one in the Lehigh Valley.

“This is it,” he stressed. “Since the day I started here, this is where I wanted to be. I have my son and daughter in the same district, and it has been important to my wife and I to get to as many of their games as possible.

“I’m very happy here and ready to go.”