ACS: Matt Gurnow, Festus (MO) High School

Matt Gurnow
Festus (MO) High School; St. Louis Recruits 15U
Hometown: Festus, Missouri
Education: University of Missouri
Twitter @matt_gurnow14
Email: matt.m.gurnow [at]
Official bio

The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career.

I grew up in a family of educators, my grandpa served as a school board member in my hometown while two of my aunts and my dad are now retired teachers. My dad taught English and coached baseball and softball, so I grew up in his classroom and in dugouts. I loved seeing students and athletes come back to visit with him and our family after graduation. Seeing the lasting impact my dad has had on the lives of his students has gone far beyond a curriculum or wins and losses.

Outside of mentors, talk about one or more ways you’ve learned some aspect of coaching.

Just being a student and observer of everyone around me. I’ve learned a ton through observing both the good and bad I experienced as a student and player. As I got out of school and started teaching and coaching professionally, observation hours are limited but diving into podcasts like Top Coach, ABCA, and Finding Mastery have been great resources as a young coach. I try reading two books a month on a wide variety of topics to learn, grow, and simply find new ideas that I can implement in practice or in the classroom. Also, if you’re not a big reader, Amazon Prime’s All or Nothing documentary series is a great way to watch how different coaches and organizations operate.

Best career or work advice you ever received.

The best advice I was ever given was from my high school football coach now co-worker, Russ Schmidt. He told me to never let what happens on the field, locker room, or coaches office impact my home. While I am not married or have kids of my own at this point, he made sure I learned how essential it was to take care of my family before anything. The home should be a haven to lead, love, and enjoy your family.

One thing you didn’t know about what coaches do before you got into coaching.

I was unaware of how much administrative work coaches are responsible for at the high school level. The day to day scheduling and coordination that goes into games, fundraising, and leading student-athletes was a major eye opener as I transitioned from student/player to teacher/coach.

Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?

This is so tough. There are so many coaches that I admire and would love to break bread with. My top three would be Pep Guardiola, Phil Jackson, and Pete Carroll. But if I could only choose one it would be Coach Carroll. His book Win Forever, was one of the first coaching books I picked up and it has had a huge impact on how I approach my classrooms and teams on a daily basis.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.