August 28, 2010

Ferris State Women's Soccer Coach Interviewed By National Sports Publication

First-year Ferris State University women's soccer head coach Matt Kellogg was recently profiled in by The Capital Sports Report in a question and answer session which was released on August 25.

The session was conducted by Anthony Caruso III, owner and senior writer of The Capital Sports Report (TCSR).  The interview focused around Kellogg's sports career and his views.

Kellogg, who was appointed to his current position in July 2010, is the fourth head coach in the program's 12-year history.  He previously served as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Morehead (Ky.) State University.

The following is the Q&A session with Coach Kellogg:

TCSR: who is your biggest role model outside of sports

MK: “I would say it would have to be my father. I’ve seen him and how he balances his professional career and his family. Growing up, he’s always had time for his kids and I never felt like he never cared about us. He was always very interested in what we were doing and professionally, he was successful in providing for his family.”

TCSR: favorite motto

MK: “Well, I kind of stolen one from Bobby Knight, who made this saying famous. ‘Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win.’ ”

TCSR: superstitions before games

MK: “As a player, I always wore a certain t-shirt. As a coach, I always have to chew gum before I enter the locker room, then take it out.”

TCSR: how has sports impacted your life

MK: “Through sports, I have been able to travel around the country a bit and be able to meet a lot of great people along the way. Also, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a career in sports. It is a lifestyle that I enjoy. As a coach, I am able to develop and influence these young adults in their life to make sure they make the right decisions to become better people.”

TCSR: what has been the best thing that competitive sports has taught you

MK: “I’d say at some point, you are going to fail and not be able to achieve your goals. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up. It means you have to go back to the drawing board and see what went wrong, while seeing what you have to do to improve as a coach. After that, you go back at it again. You are not going to win every game, but that doesn’t mean you give up.”

TCSR: what keeps you motivated in sports

MK: “What keeps me motivated is that no day is the same. Every day, there are different challenges that I have to face – whether it be during the season, out recruiting, or in the off-season. Some challenges I have never faced before, which keeps me going.”

TCSR: has there been any failures that you have experienced, which has made you a better coach today

MK: “I’d say as a player, I’d say one of my failures is when I wasn’t picked for a premiere team going into my junior year of high school. It made me realize that I wasn’t invincible and it motivated me to be the best that I could be. As a coach, I’d say one of the failures that we’ve had when I was at Morehead State is that we couldn’t get past the Ohio Valley Conference semi-finals. I think there’s a few things that we could have done differently that now I won’t take for granted.”

TCSR: favorite sports movie

MK: “I would say my favorite sports movie would have to be Hoosiers.”

TCSR: competing in soccer, track & field, and swimming at your high school

MK: “It was a fantastic time. I got to meet a lot of different people throughout sports. And looking back on it, I think the best part of it was that I was good in soccer and was good in track & field, but I was absolutely horrible in swimming. Swimming didn’t come easy for me, so I had to work for it. It taught me what it really meant to me to really work at something.”

TCSR: being a team captain at your high school

MK: “Being a team captain was a great experience, because it put me in a position of leadership. Sometimes I had to take to my friends if they were slacking on the field, because it wasn’t good for the field or our team. I knew it wasn’t a popular move, but it was something that needed to be done.”

TCSR: why did you choose to attend Butler University

MK: “Butler was a good fit for me, because it had the majors that I wanted to study. Also, it was a good location for me that was close enough to home that my family could come and visit. But more than that, the feeling I got when I stepped on campus, felt like home. The people were great and the environment was inviting. It just felt right for me.”

TCSR: competing in soccer at Butler

MK: “I wasn’t a starter, but was a role player. At first, that was very difficult for me to handle, but going through it and keeping at it, I started to realize that I had a role in the team’s success. I pushed the starters to be better in practice, so I learned to value my role on the team. That was a huge learning experience for me.”

TCSR: competing in track & field at Butler

MK: “That was great! I ran track & field in high school and I love to run. Again, it gave me a different avenue, as I was able to meet a lot of terrific people outside of the soccer program. I had a different identity on the track team than the soccer team. I was also able to learn from the different coaches to see what makes them successful. It was a different point-of-view from a coach.”

TCSR: thoughts on seeing Butler facing Duke in the Division 1 Men’s Basketball March Madness Championship in April

MK: “I watched them through the whole tournament. You couldn’t find a prouder person to say they were a Butler alum. I thought it was great for our basketball program to compete in the National Championship and play as well as they did. It also shows an example that you don’t necessarily have to be the best, or have the best team, but if you have good team chemistry, you can compete with anybody. I think the world saw the benefit of their work ethic and their team work that helped them get that far. They never stopped working at any point in the tournament – and as a result, they made it to the finals.”

TCSR: how he thinks Gordon Hayward will do with the Utah Jazz

MK: “I think Gordon will do very well. He strikes me as the type of player that takes coaches pointers to heart to be able to improve his game. He will find a way to be able to get into the lineup at some point, because he’s a very determined individual. He’s going to figure out a way to be able to get it done.”

TCSR: what sparked your interest to go into coaching

MK: “I had an injury after I graduated college. It put on hold my plans to go into the work force – to go into the corporate sales field. And I was asked to be an assistant coach at my high school and we ended up winning the state championship that year. That helped influence my career and as a result, I was able to influence others to become better players.”

TCSR: how he was able to coach his high school team, while wearing a halo on his head after breaking his neck

MK: “I think it was a blessing, because I couldn’t go out there and show the kids how to strike the ball or how to defend. I had to be very descriptive and coach them through it until they figured it out.”

TCSR: being the head coach at Kalamazoo College

MK: “That was very early in my coaching career at the college level. It was a great experience and it taught me more about the X’s and O’s, as well as worrying about the budget, the starters, and the players coming off the bench. You also have to worry about the kids that never get into the games. Also, you have to treat everybody fairly. I learned a lot about being the head coach at Kalamazoo College.”

TCSR: being an assistant coach at Western Michigan University

MK: “I learned a lot and it was my first experience working with a collegiate head coach that coached soccer for a living. I learned a lot – how to put together practices, strategies in recruiting, strategies in games, etc. – I also learned a lot about being a coach off the field.”

TCSR: being an assistant coach at Kentucky

MK: “Being at Kentucky, obviously, we competed in the SEC, and that was a great experience in itself, because I went from a Mid-Major to a school in the BCS Conference. It was a bigger budget and we were traveling all over the place. I had a lot of responsibility there. It was a fantastic experience.”

TCSR: working under head coach Warren Lipka

MK: “It was a great experience. I learned a lot from coach Lipka – not only about the game, or game management, but I think this is the most valuable experience from my experience there. I also learned a lot about player relations. I also think I did a lot of maturing as a coach when I worked under him. I was a young coach that thought I knew everything, but through working with him, I realized that I didn’t know everything.”

TCSR: being named interim head coach at Kentucky, before eventually being named an assistant coach at Morehead State under coach Lipka again

MK: “Being the interim coach gave me the taste of working at a large program. At that point, I had to keep track of all the players, the budget, and what events to go to. So. I had that bit of experience and I think it prepared me well for my new job at Ferris State. I didn’t know at first, but after talking with coach Lipka, I felt like it was best for me, at that time, to rejoin coach Lipka.”

TCSR: winning the first-ever OVA regular season championship at Morehead State

MK: “It was a fantastic experience. The players that we had at Morehead, I can’t say enough about them, as players and people. We did a fantastic job of recruiting quality individuals and they bought into our system when we got there. Winning that championship was really well deserving.”

TCSR: thoughts on being the new Ferris State women’s soccer head coach

MK: “What it means to me is that years of being an assistant coach has finally paid off. I really appreciate Ferris State and the Athletic Department for giving me this opportunity and being able to take this program to the next level. I’m very, very excited to be able to have this opportunity.”

TCSR: future goals with the program

MK: “I think with this program and the University support that we have here, I don’t think there’s any reason why we shouldn’t be in the top of the conference and looking to compete for conference championships on a yearly basis. We want to be able to make it to the NCAA tournament every year, too.”

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