Funeral to be held Tuesday, Dec. 6 for Anton football coach Matthew Hoover
The Rosary for Matthew Hoover will be Dec. 5 in Anton, no time set yet. The funeral will be Tuesday morning, Dec. 6, 10:30 a.m. at Christ the King Cathedral in Lubbock.
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - West Texas coaches are remembering one of their own, Anton Head Football Coach Matthew Hoover, as a family man and fierce competitor, days after he was found dead inside his home Saturday. The 38-year-old made an impact on student-athletes at Christ the King, Wilson, Grand Falls, and Anton, where he coached for the last four years. Along with his time on the field, his fellow coaches and friends remember his dedication to his wife and four daughters.
Competitor and friend, Lorenzo Head Football Coach Brian Sepkowitz, says Hoover was tough on his athletes, but only because he cared so much about them.
“He was just this is the way I am and this is the way it’s going to be and I respected him for it. There’s not enough people that are real and he was 100% real,” Sepkowitz said.
Hoover’s friend of more than 10 years and Loop Head Football Coach, Bear Chesley, says Hoover took that competitive mindset into his history classroom, pushing students to be the best.
“I really admired the relationship he had with his kids, ‘cause he could really connect with a 12-year-old kid or an 18-year-old kid and they loved playing for him,” Chesley said.
Chesley says Hoover’s heart for his family and friends came before his passion for 6-man football. His friend and assistant coach at Anton, Josh Hinojosa, says coaching brought Hoover to the love of his life, his wife Christina. He says he was a proud ‘girl dad’ of four daughters.
“He couldn’t talk enough about them. They were everything. You can have a great season, but then Emma Grace would be at the t-ball game and have like a base hit to win the game or something and that was going to trump someone scoring a touchdown on Friday night just because, I mean that’s daddy’s little girl that did it,” Hinojosa said.
In the middle of balancing his passion and heart, Hoover never lost his vision. Last year, he was voted to the board of directors for the 6-man Coaches Association, wanting to be a part of the future of the game. Chesley says he instilled that same future-oriented mindset in his athletes.
“He did everything he could to try and get those kids to go do something at the second level, whether it be playing college ball somewhere, whether it be just going to college or going and doing something, finding a career, finding a trade. He was always really big on making sure that they made that next step because he cared so much about them,” Chesley said.
For Hoover’s former or current players, Sepkowitz says his job is not done.
“They know the things that he would say, and they have to hear those things in their heart now, and they have to say it to each other now and they have to carry that into the future and keep that dog mentality. But they have to know there’s no way they could ever understand the depth of how proud he was of them,” Sepkowitz said. “Their job’s not done with him not being here and he I feel he would want me to tell them that. And you can be sad, but you can’t give up and, Hoover would never allow you to give up.”
Hinojosa wants to thank all of the people across West Texas who’ve reached out to provide comforting words or support for Hoover’s family. Donation buckets for his family will be passed out at the games in Smyer on Tuesday and at the Whitharral vs. Klondike area football game Friday. There’s also a GoFundMe set up for his family.
Copyright 2022 KCBD. All rights reserved.