Seven years after he was named Seminole Ridge High School’s first head football coach, Matt Dickmann announced last month that he would be taking a new coaching position out of state.
Next season, Dickmann will coach at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Ga. He told the Town-Crier last week that the move was made for financial and personal reasons.
“The number-one thing for us was finances,” he said, noting that his wife, Kelly, is also a teacher and coach at SRHS.
The couple commutes from their home in Jupiter daily. “We spend a lot of money and time at the school, but on different schedules,” Dickmann said. “With the economy and gas prices the last five years, it was starting to take its toll.”
But he said the move wasn’t going to be easy.
“The financial situation will be better, but it wasn’t an easy decision,” Dickmann said. “After spending 26 years in the same area, we have friends and family here. It’s going to be hard to leave, but we felt it was the right decision for our family.”
Dickmann began his coaching career at Jupiter High School, where he coached freshman football for several years before moving up to offensive and defensive coordinator. In 2005, he took the head coaching job at the newly constructed SRHS.
In 2010, Dickmann won the Lou Groza Award as Palm Beach County Coach of the Year, and this year was named the Miami Dolphins Coach of the Year for Palm Beach County District 8A.
The decision to leave came as a shock to the community, but Dickmann said he has always stressed the importance of family with his team.
“Some of them took it pretty tough,” he said. “It wasn’t easy for me to [tell them]. But we’ve always talked about family first.”
With three straight district titles and regional bids under his belt, Dickmann has helped bolster Hawk pride and winning spirit, but he also leaves behind a legacy of players who have learned to respect their school, their community and the game.
“I think I’m most proud of the way we impacted the young men we coached,” Dickmann said. “We got a lot of calls and comments from people who have said a lot of nice things about our players. I hope that we’ve had an impact on their lives.”
Dickmann said he felt that not only was he coaching his team to be good players, but also good people.
“If you’re coaching football and you’re just looking at wins and losses, you shouldn’t be coaching,” he said. “If you do things the right way — do them with class and character — good things will happen and you’ll have a lot of success. We didn’t cut corners at Seminole Ridge. We tried to do things the right way.”
Not only did the Hawks see several winning seasons under Dickmann’s guidance, but they saw the community rally around them, establishing customs and traditions Dickmann hopes will be carried on for years to come.
“I want to thank the community for all their support,” he said. “It’s a great school and a great community. I hope people will still come out to support the sports teams especially, but also all the other great activities at the school.”
ABOVE: Matt Dickmann walks with his team onto the field at a 2009 game.