After a rocky 2011-12 season in which it lost seven of its first eight games and had its head coach resign midway through the season, Monroe went 11-12 this past season and made it back to the district tournament under Chalfant's guidance.
"I was shocked to get this award," Chalfant said in a press release. "It's rewarding to know that what you are doing is not only making a difference in the lives of kids but also making a difference for our community, and people are taking note of that."
According to the press release, the SCWBOA gives its award to the coach who is "respectful, cooperative with officials, has a great attitude towards players, and who stresses the importance of sportsmanship throughout the season."
Here is the full press release:
First year coach earns top honors from officials
Monroe, WA – After only one year as coach of the Monroe High School (MHS) girls basketball team, Matt Chalfant has been selected by the Snohomish County Women's Basketball Officials Association as Coach of the Year. The Association gives the award to the coach who is respectful, cooperative with officials, has a great attitude towards players, and who stresses the importance of sportsmanship throughout the season.
"I was shocked to get this award," he says. "It's rewarding to know that what you are doing is not only making a difference in the lives of kids but also making a difference for our community, and people are taking note of that."
Chalfant had served as assistant coach for the Monroe boys basketball team for four years, but his goal was to be head coach for a varsity basketball team. Assistant Principal Brett Wille encouraged him to apply for the position as girls head coach. "It's been a learning curve," Chalfant says. "More than anything, girls want to know why: why we're running this set, why we are doing this and that. It makes it more meaningful for me as a coach because I am explaining the fine details."
The team has had 4 coaches in the past four years, but Chalfant plans to stay on. "I've made a commitment," he says. "I'm not the type of person to put one foot in and one foot out."
Five members of the team graduate this year, but he is optimistic about next year. "I am sad to see the seniors go, and only regret that I didn't coach them all four years," he comments. "However, we have a very bright future with strong returning upperclassmen, and a young JV team that was 19-1 this year. This is the kind of thing you hang your hat on."
Chalfant came to Monroe four years ago as a special education teacher at the high school. He fell in love with the town immediately. "More than anything, I am so proud to represent Monroe this way," Chalfant comments. "Yes, the award has my name on it, but I want it to belong to the community of Monroe."
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