A former student of Wyvern and Stoke Park and also Eastleigh College, Matthew Edwards (28yrs) achieved his employment goal this week when he was appointed the Head Soccer Coach at Knox College, located in Galesburg, Illinois, USA.
Knox College was founded in 1837 by social reformers strongly opposed to slavery; Knox was one of the first colleges in the United States open to both women and people of colour. And it was on this campus that Abraham Lincoln chose to denounce slavery.
After graduating from Chichester University, seven years ago Matt left England to work as a football coach in the New York area. Six weeks into his employment, Matt was promoted to Regional Manager for the Philadelphia area where he met Kathy the woman who was to become his future wife.
After a stint at Springfield College, Massachusetts where he studied for his masters’ degree and qualified as a teacher, as well as being employed as Assistant Head Soccer Coach and holding down another job training youth footballers and coaching three of the football clubs teams, Matt found full time work in the Alumni Office as an assistant director. It was then he stepped down as assistant coach to concentrate upon coaching at the youth football club.
During his time at Springfield he has coached US soccer coaches at numerous venues where they were attending courses, spent time with the American Olympic Soccer team and attended national conferences of the national coaches association.
An opportunity to coach at another top New England college, Amhurst arose last year where he was appointed Assistant Coach.
It’s ironic that at Wyvern School during his time there, one or two of his teachers told his parents, that he would not amount to anything because of his poor academic performance. On more than one occasion, Matt’s tutor at Eastleigh College would call his parents to complain of his continual lateness in attending class.
If there ever was a success story of a young Englishman making good in an overseas country, this surely ranks in the top ten. It also shows that if you are determined to succeed at your chosen career path, it takes hard work and dedication. Congratulations Matt, your family, friends and the town of Eastleigh are proud of you.