Release courtesy of Defiance Athletics
DEFIANCE, OHIO – Manny Matsakis, an energetic coach with a record for success at every level, has been selected as head football coach of the Defiance College Yellow Jackets. Matsakis comes to Defiance with an extensive football background ranging from high school to NAIA, Division III, Division II, FCS, FBS and the Canadian Football League. He will assume the role immediately.
Matsakis spent the last three years at Division III Widener University as the offensive coordinator and director of academics. The 2017 season culminated with a 7-4 record and a berth in the Centennial MAC Bowl Championship.
The Ohio native also served as an offensive coordinator for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Canadian Football League) working closely with Mike Kelly and the Blue Bombers offense. He spent three seasons at Texas Tech University as the Assistant head coach and Special Teams Coordinator under Mike Leach. While spearheading the Red Raider special teams, he also coached Wes Welker to national prominence as a punt returner. He then transitioned to Texas State University as the head coach and his offense was rated the top in the Southland Conference; ranked first in the league and seventh in the nation in 2003, averaging 443.4 yards per game and 26.2 points per game. The Bobcat offense went on to set 17 school records.
"Manny's success is most effectively demonstrated through his accomplishments on the gridiron with the development of student-athletes and the progress his teams have displayed. His championship mindset, winning offensive style as well as player development align with our vision to strengthen the football program," stated Defiance College Athletic Director Jodie Holava. "He brings a sense of excitement and discipline, as well as a focus on student-athlete achievement in creating a well-rounded individual."
Matsakis' collegiate coaching experience also includes stints at the University of Wyoming, Emporia State University, Kansas State University and Hofstra University. While at Kansas State, Manny worked closely with Hall of Fame coach Bill Snyder who steered the Kansas State program to the greatest turnaround in college football history.
He also found success outside of coaching serving as the founder and CEO of American Football Monthly, a trade journal that was created to help coaches improve in the profession.
Matsakis attended Capital University where he was a three-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference performer. He went on to be drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1984 and was awarded the Young Alumni Honor by Capital University in 2001. He graduated from Capital in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and holds a Master of Science degree from Kansas State University.
"We are so grateful to President Mankey, Jodie Holava and the search committee for affording us the opportunity to live our dreams in northwest Ohio," said head football coach Manny Matsakis.
Manny and his wife, Elizabeth will bring their six-year-old son with them to Defiance. Coach Matsakis has two older children, Meredith who lives in New York City and Michael who is a student at Duquesne University.