Matt Sides, the head coach of Anson’s basketball team since 2008, has accepted a head coaching position with Forest Hills High School.
Sides will coach and teach social studies at Forest Hills next school year. He led the Bearcats to a 57-48 record in his time at Anson, including a Southern Carolina Conference championship in the 2009-2010 season that also saw the team go to the round of 16 in the state playoffs.
“I’ve certainly been lucky,” he said.
He will miss Anson but said the best memories came with the players off the court. Each year, when the team traveled to Jacksonville to play, they also took time to visit the beach together. He remembered sitting in a hotel room watching the World Cup with the players in 2010, a sport that none were too familiar with but just enjoying each other’s company and the thrill of watching the United States do well.
The decision to leave was difficult and took weeks of thought and prayer. He looks at all of the players “as sons” and calls them the most important people in his life, along with his family.
More than anything, he is proud that all 16 of the seniors on his team have gone on to attend college.
He said he was grateful to Athletic Director Fred Davis, who showed faith in him and gave him the reins in order to “create young men.” He is thankful for the support he received from Anson High School and the community.
He also expressed gratitude towards his assistant coaches, his father Keith Sides and Jarmar Parker, calling them “loyal and instrumental.”
He still keeps in touch with the players who have moved on and will continue to do so, telling them they can contact him whenever and wherever.
He wrote a letter to the team to inform them of his decision.
“Being your coach the past four years has been the best time of my life,” he wrote. “We have made so many memories that I will cherish forever.”
He offered an open hand to help at any time in the future. He urged them to remember the lessons they learned on the court and praised them for their conduct and character.
Ultimately, he hopes that the young men he helped mold will be his legacy.