Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Matt Kriesky, seen here stalking the sidelines at Chapel Hill, announced Tuesday morning that he was leaving Forrest football to take over the head-coaching job at Centennial. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

I think for most people, it was just a matter of time before another football program would lure such a successful and well-liked coach as Matt Kriesky away from Chapel Hill.

On Tuesday morning it happened.

"I think it is a good opportunity for me and my family and I told the kids they are the reason I am getting this opportunity and again I appreciate every single one of them," said Kriesky. "It was very tough telling them because I truly care about each one of them."

Big step

Kriesky announced his resignation and his intent to take his coaching talents to the 5A Centennial Cougars, who were without a head football coach since the resignation of Brian Rector in December.

"I have really enjoyed my time here at Forrest and I would like to thank the administration for being so supportive during this time," Kriesky said. "They have done a tremendous job and have been a huge help to me during my time here."

Kriesky becomes the second coach in three years to leave the single 'A' program at Forrest for a 5A school, following his former head coach Brian Coleman, who left the Rockets in 2013 after one season to become head coach at Summit in Spring Hill.

"I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by a wonderful group of kids that would do anything for this program," Kriesky added. "Also, the staff has been great to work with too."

Winning record

The Rockets posted a (17-6, 12-1 District) record under Kriesky, including the program's first region title in 29 years as the Rockets went undefeated in Region 4AA play last season.

"Coach Kriesky informed me two weeks ago that he was pursuing the Centennial job and I was informed this morning (Tuesday) from coach 'K' that he had accepted the position," Forrest athletic director Scott Delk said. "I expected the news was coming...Matt was classy about it and told me face to face. We were never in the dark during the interview process."

Forrest was unable to break the longtime drought of not advancing past the second round of the playoffs when they lost 38-10 at Chapel Hill to Class 2A state runner-up Marion County.


Coach 'K' as he is called by his team, brought a fiery, yet subtle coaching style to the sidelines and was well-liked by his players and the community, who saw a strong work ethic and intelligent mentor that prepared the ball club week after week, while embracing the Forrest tradition.

"Coach 'K' has brought discipline, accountability, an aggressive tireless effort to better his players and a winning attitude in his time at Forrest," Delk stated. "He has had a great relationship with the school and the community and has been a complete asset to our program."

Exciting times

Kriesky, who played high school football at Henry County under current Franklin High School head coach Donnie Webb also talked about coaching Boone Sweeney, who was the first Forrest player awarded the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Lineman of the Year Award by the TSSAA.

"It was great to be apart of a team that accomplished the first Region title since 1986," Kriesky added. "Also, it was very exciting to have a Mr. Football winner and it to be the first in school history was a neat accomplishment."

The search for a new coach will begin immediately and will be under the direction of Forrest principal Davy McClaran.

Good position

"I believe this program is in great shape to do big things the next four years," Kriesky said. "Everyone in the community loves this program and will do anything to see it succeed. This is a very special place to my family and me. I want to thank the entire community for all they have done for this program and me the past three years."

Delk agreed with Kriesky's assessment of the current state of the football program, saying, "Coach 'K' has left the program with a very positive vibe about it. I believe whoever is hired will not be disappointed with the current status of the program. Matt has made the Forrest job a very appealing coaching position."