IES/LEAD Student Follows His Passion
September 14, 2018
Matthew Deemer is in his first season as the Director of Soccer Operations at San Diego State University (SDSU). Deemer also serves as an assistant coach for the LA Galaxy San Diego Youth Soccer Club. He spent last year at Chapman University, where he was an IES major and LEAD minor as well as a backup goalkeeper for the Chapman men’s soccer team. As a player, Deemer was named the 2014 Avocado West Player of the Year and the 2014 All-CIF San Diego section Player of the Year as a goalkeeper at Carlsbad High School (2010–2014).
Deemer also has four years of coaching experience. His first coaching experience was as the Chapman Women’s Club Team Head Coach for the 2015–2016 season, and he helped the LA Galaxy SD with their younger teams. In addition, Deemer was the JV Head Coach at Villa Park High School from 2015-2017, before being elevated to the head coach for the 2017–2018 school year. As Villa Park’s head coach, he helped them reach the CIF finals. Deemer has the distinction of being the only person in CIF history to win CIF Player of the Year and CIF Coach of the Year in a four-year span.
Why did you choose to be a soccer coach?
I was always told in high school that people thought I would be a good coach, and when I tried it out, I fell in love right away. Now that it is my passion, I want to do it the rest of my life.
What has been the most rewarding experience?
There are so many rewarding experiences with these jobs—seeing kids learn and grow up in front of you, seeing kids succeed and achieve things that they never thought were possible, getting to coach kids from the ages of 10 to 22.
How would you describe your coaching style? How has LEAD/IES impacted your coaching style?
My coaching style is fun I would say. Don’t get me wrong, I get serious and require the best from my players, but at the same time, I also realize that these kids need an environment in which to succeed. I think a big thing is having a relationship with each kid, so you know what they react to and what gets them going and pushes them. If you treat every kid the same way, the players will tune you out. Knowing how to get the most out of every individual is one of the hardest things to do, but it is what I strive for. I think Chapman overall really has shaped my coaching style and how I view the game.
Can you describe your experience with balancing coaching and being a student?
This last question makes me laugh, since I am taking a semester off. The last two years of coaching and going to school were tough on me. I don’t think I handled it in the ideal way at all; there were many situations that could have been better. But at the end of the day, it is all a learning curve, and those situations that I was placed in are the type of situations that will help me grow as a person. There is no perfect way to handle all of the practices, games, classes, papers, and tests, but at the end of the day, all I do is to try my best. Being on the Chapman team, coaching, owning a dog, and taking classes was a bold move, but I learned so much about myself during that time, and I found something that I am passionate about and want to do for the rest of my life.
Excerpt from the Attallah College Undergraduate Student Newsletter.