Coach of the Week
Matt Dickman, Harrison. It has taken Coach Dickmann, now in his fourth year at the helm of the Hoyas’ football fortunes, a little longer then he surely had in mind in building something special at this school located in Kennesaw, GA,
when he moved up from Florida and Seminole Ridge High School, which he led to five playoff appearances in his last seven years there.
But despite the challenge of working with admittedly average athletes, his philosophy of hard work, most especially in the weight room, and “dedication, determination and sacrifice,” as he enumerates such intangibles, is paying off at Harrison, which improved to 6-0 and clinched a winning season for the first time in eight years when it defeated Sprayberry 35-7.
His previous three seasons each produced 5-5 records, as each year one thing or another kept Harrison from “getting on the same page, and doing things the Hoya way,” as he phrased it, meaning through “dedication, determination
and sacrifice, things you have to do to have any success.”
Dickmann, whose Hoyas are now fourth-ranked in Class AAAAAA, found out that it is, as he put it, “harder to change a program than to build one from scratch,” as he did at Seminole Ridge, where said he “built a foundation through the
But from the very beginning, there was no question that Dickmann, who knew from the time he was in middle
school that he would be a teacher/coach, was the man to turn around the football fortunes at Harrison, which
had suffered through four consecutive winning seasons since 2008. That team produced a 9-3 record in the last
of 16 seasons under Bruce Cobleigh, for whom the Hoyas Stadium is named.
No one knows that better than Matt Moody, an assistant principal and the athletic director at Harrison, who was
involved in the hiring process of Dickmann, who actually turned down the job in 2012 out of loyalty to the players
and program at Seminole Ridge, which won a third consecutive district championship under his tutelage and
earned him five coach of the year awards for the area – Nike, Miami Dolphins, Palm Beach County All-Conference,
Sun Sentinel and Palm Beach Post.
“Matt just blew us away when we interviewed him,” Moody said. “His character, his attention to detail… He is one of the best PE teachers that I have ever seen, and believe we, we have had some real good ones here.”
But even though Dickmann’s knowledge of the game of football, specifically offense, and weight lifting have earned him nation wide respect and acclaim, what impresses Moody to this day is his coach’s passion for helping his players become
“uncommon” in all facets of their lives, “holding them to high accountability,” he noted.
On that note, Dickmann, who does not tolerate late/tardy people and believes in always being on time, is a man
who knows what he wants from his student-athletes. His mission statement is all about helping them become
“a better person on and off the football field, and to teach the fundamentals of football, along with the work ethic
needed to succeed.” And should they do that, he believes, “we will be successful as a team.”
These Dickmann quotes are indicative of why the Hoyas’ football fortunes are now on the rise. “Keep
company with those that make you better.” And, “Be uncommon, no excuses, no explanations!”