Matt Carroll returns to Paso High to continue as a Bearcat
Writing books, coaching offensive linemen, and watching students’ dreams come to life is all part of an everyday routine for English teacher and Varsity assistant coach Matt Carroll. Carroll is a freshman and sophomore English teacher whose playful and friendly attitude towards students entertains them as well as teaches them important concepts in preparation for their future high school and college careers. With his witty comments and sarcastic comebacks, students can’t help but pay attention in class.
Carroll is greeted by the chill of the morning air as he makes his way to PRHS at 6:30am for early morning films with the football team. Afterwards, he heads across campus to his second home at PRHS: room 1024. Carroll, who was a former Bearcat football player, feels honored that he is able to come back and coach the sport he once played.
After graduating from PRHS in 2005, Carroll continued his education and football career at Whittier College in Pasadena, California. Later suffering a concussion and a major shoulder injury, Carroll continued within the football program at Whittier, but as an undergraduate assistant to the offensive and defensive line coach while still going to school for the next five years. In 2010, Carroll became a Mustang at Cal Poly SLO, and worked on his Master’s Degree in Psychology and English and his teaching credential. After returning to PRHS for a short time, student teaching alongside Scott Harvey, he has now come home for good.
“I originally got my start when I was in ninth grade coaching basketball. It was the first coaching gig I ever had, and I’m a terrible basketball player, so I don’t know why I was a basketball coach,” said Carroll, who has been coaching varsity football since 2012 and track and field since 2010.
However, he is more than just a coach and English teacher. Carroll, an aspiring author and journalist, writes Fantasy and Football books for an average 10-20 hours a week in the hopes to get published. His inspiration? His 165 students.
“I always planned on being a writer or a journalist, but it’s a tough world to be a journalist in, so I’m constantly writing on the side trying to get published, which is a tough thing to do because I write books… so I’m kind of making my way up there, but my students come first, and I focus more on my students now than my writing,” Carroll said.
“I always planned on being a writer or a journalist, but it’s a tough world to be a journalist in, so I’m constantly writing on the side trying to get published…”
Carroll often says that his students are his inspiration to continue writing in hopes to become a published writer someday. Although Carroll has never attempted to have a book published, he has submitted one short story, only for it to be rejected.
“A lot of [my students] don’t know their dreams or know what they want to do, and they shoot really high, and I think as you get older you kind of lose some of your dreams, so it’s kinda nice being around young people.. It kind of inspires me to think ’hey, when I go home, I better write tonight’ so it kind of inspires me being around young people who are so optimistic and have a lot of dreams, ” Carroll said.
Carroll finds inspiration and support from his 55 football players, and especially his 13 offensive lineman.
“[Carroll} is very open to any question. Good or Bad, he always answers it in a friendly manner. Even if it’s the 100th time the offensive line has asked the same question, he’s always there to give help,” junior offensive lineman Joe Moscato said.
Not only is Carroll loved by his “kids” on the football team, but also by his past and present students.
“The best thing about him is no matter how bad of a day you are having he can put a smile on your face.
He truly cares if you are successful, and will do anything he can to help you get there,” said senior Sabrina Scott, who was in Harvey’s English class when Carroll student taught her sophomore year. Scott, a student athletic trainer, also gets to spend time with Carroll on the football field.
“Teaching he is very professional and very concerned about you getting the best education possible and coaching he is goofy and always checking in on how everyone is doing,” Scott said.
Whether he is teaching “The Call of the Wild” or calling plays on the football field, he is inspiring students, much like they inspire him.