Kriesky takes reins at Forrest

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
From left, Forrest Principal Danny Morgan, new football head coach Matt Kriesky, offensive coordinator Brent Johns, and FHS assistant principal Davy McClaran are all smiles at Kriesky's introduction on Tuesday in Chapel Hill. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

After the unexpected departure of head football coach Brian Coleman to Summit last week, the Forrest Rockets found their new man in a hurry, promoting defensive coordinator Matt Kriesky from the assistant ranks on Monday.

"When you get in the coaching profession, your goal is to be a head coach one day, " said Kriesky. "I never dreamed it would be this soon and when this opportunity came up I was a little skeptical at first of being ready, but after seeing all the support from the community, the administration, and the faculty, it was hard for me to turn it down."


Kriesky hails from Paris, Tenn. and played high school football at Henry County under current Franklin High School head coach Donnie Webb, who remains one of Kriesky's main confidants.

"Coach Webb has been a big influence on me in my coaching career and I talk to him on a monthly, weekly basis about the coaching profession," said Kriesky. "He was one of the first people to call me and congratulate me and let me know he would be there for me and help me along this first year, being a head coach."

Kriesky had assistant coaching stints at Blackman in 2006 and at Oakland (2007-2012) before joining Coleman's staff at Forrest last season.

"Coach Coleman brought me in here last year from Oakland and I appreciate everything he has done for me," said Kriesky. "He has helped me out tremendously to grow as a coach and as a person and I couldn't ask for a better friend or a mentor in this profession."

Assistants stay

The transition for Kriesky will be relatively smooth as all the current Forrest assistant coaches will remain on the staff, including offensive coordinator Brent Johns, offensive line coach Kyle Stacey, and wide receivers and defensive backs coach Lance Horton.

"That is one of the things that caught my attention when coach Stacey, coach Johns, and coach Horton elected to stay on board," said Kriesky. "Not many head coaches walk in and can work with the guys they already worked with and the offense and defense is already in place and that was a plus when I took this job."

Kriesky talked about his football philosophy in Chapel Hill, saying, "We are going to be a hard-nosed football team, we are going to get after it and we are going to bring our lunch pail to work every single day."

Kriesky added, "We might not be the most athletic team out there on the field, but whoever we play will know that we will fight to the very end."

Great expectations

Forrest posted a solid 8-4 mark in 2013, finishing in second place in District 9-A, a spot that led to first round home playoff 23-20 win versus Decatur County Riverside.

One week later, the Rockets fell at Adamsville 26-7, ending Forrest's season and the short stay by Coleman in Chapel Hill.

"My expectations are to help everyone in this program grow and I think coach Coleman laid a good foundation for this program on the expectations as a staff and as program," said Kriesky. "We don't want to go first round, we want to take that extra step to the second and third round and be talked about like Trousdale County and Adamsville and we are working hard to get to that next level."