Matzen tabbed to be new athletic director at Marquette
By: Jonathan Duncan
Marquette basketball coach Shane Matzen is stepping down after 17 years on the Mustangs bench to become the school’s athletic director.
“This is the only other job I would have for because this school is my home,” Matzen said. “This was one of those opportunities I that I hoped to see down the road, but I didn’t know it would happen this soon and when Mark Linneman decided just after the first of the year to retire, we were all surprised but it was a good time for Mark to make that decision.”
It was an opportunity that although the timing was not perfect, was just too good for Matzen to pass up.
“I knew when it became available that I might not have another chance to do this, so although the timing in life of opportunites is not perfect, I knew I had to at least put in an application and see what happened from there,” Matzen said.”
The opportunity became reality on Thursday (Mar. 7) as the Rockwood School Board approved Matzen’s hiring for the position and his duties will officially begin on July 1.
Matzen replaces Linnemann, who is retiring after 22 years as an athletic/activities director.
Linneman, who was named the St. Louis area Athletic Director of the Year in 2012 by the Missouri Interscholatic Athletic Administrators Association, spent his last 11 years working at Marquette.
Matzen went 247-213 in his 17 season at Marquette. That run also included district titles in 2011, 2012, and a fourth place finish in Class 5 in 2012.
By far the toughest part of taking the AD post is leaving behind coaching basketball.
“I’m definitely going to miss coaching the kids and being around them in practice everyday and the game, but I will still be around these guys after practice and stuff if they have questions or need advice,” Matzen said. “The great thing about this job is I will not only be able to help the basketball kids but I will be able to do more things for more different people.”
Marquette went 18-8 this season and claimed a share of the Suburban West championship for the first time since 1996.
Senior Matt Hink won the conference’s player of the year award this season and former standout and current Mizzou player Ryan Rosburg, a 2012 alum won it last season.
Matzen also got to coach his son Jack, s sophomore in 15 games with the Mustangs.
There was no beating around the bush with his players about the situation and Matzen kept them in the loop throughout the process.
“I let them know early on after I applied what was going on and they were incredibly understanding and supportive,” Matzen said.
Matzen was an assistant at Central Methodist University for two years and then three years at Elsberry High School before moving to Marquette.
In 1997-98, Matzen replaced John David Patillo as head coach.
Most gratifying for Matzen over his 17 years as the head of the Marquette basketball program has been the players he was blessed to coach over that time that committed their energy and sacrifice for the program.
“The response of the players current and especially from guys that played for me 10 15 years ago has been been really special,” Matzen said.
“I’ve had guys 15 years old to 30 years old texting me and calling me saying congratulations and they understand why I’m doing this at this point. They have been tremendous to me and I love them for it.”