Boys Varsity Baseball · Tiger Tuesday Spotlight – Coach Matt Cherry – Baseball HCC Coach of the Year

Coach Matthew Cherry is in his 12th year as the Head Coach of Fishers Tigers Baseball.  Coach Cherry has an overall record of 204-171-1 and over the past two seasons, Coach Cherry has led his team to Back-to-Back Conference and Sectional Titles.  This year the Tigers captured their first Regional and Semi-State Championships and will play this Friday for a State Championship Title.  Coach Cherry has also been recognized three times as the  Hoosier Crossroads Conference Coach of the Year (2012, 2017, 2018).  Coach Cherry teaches in the physical education department at FHS.

Coach Questionnaire – Matthew Cherry

1. Why do you choose to coach?

I believe I am called to be a coach. I view coaching as a ministry, and I believe God orchestrated this opportunity for me to coach baseball at Fishers High School in this moment in time. Obviously, I cannot openly talk about my faith with my players, but actions speak louder than words. It is my hope that the culture we create and the relationships we build will impact the lives of these young men beyond the field. It is my prayer that all of our players will be better citizens, better husbands, and better fathers because of lessons they learn from playing in our program.

2. Who inspired you to become a coach or who has been a mentor for you?

My high school baseball coach (Gary Brown) was a big influence in my life. He held me to high expectations on the field, but he also took interest in me as a person off the field.

One of my favorite coaches was my high school football offensive coordinator (Todd Salkoski). Coach Salkoski could motivate his players to give their best effort every night even when the odds were not in our favor on paper.

My college coach (Dr. Don “Bama” Brandon) was more like a father or grandfather to me. After my career ending injury and my decision to not try and come back, he took me to dinner and helped me walk through what was next in my life. After a year off, I came back to the team as an assistant coach for 2 seasons and continued to learn how to care for players beyond the field of competition.

My college pitching coach (Todd “Doc” Hollowell) took me under his wing during my freshmen year when I was medically redshirted. He challenged me to begin thinking like a coach and taught me how to call pitches and work hitters.

Since becoming a coach, there are many coaching colleagues who shared information, gave advice, and challenged me on ideas and philosophies. Some of those guys are Justin Keever (Noblesville), Ryan Bunnell (Westfield), Curry Harden (Hamilton Southeastern), Jake Burton (McCutcheon), and Dave Ginder (FW Carroll).

3. Where did you grow up and what sports did you play?

I grew up in New Castle, Indiana. Growing up, I played baseball, football, and basketball. The summer before my junior year, I decided to stop playing basketball so that I could prepare for the spring baseball season. I was a catcher in baseball and a quarterback in football.

4. What trait do you feel is the most important for an athlete to possess?

Two traits that I believe go hand-in-hand: Coachability and an inner drive to be the best they can be every day. Athletes who possess these traits are able to accept criticism and not make excuses, but instead work harder to be better than they were yesterday…and they work hard even when no one is watching.

5. What is your most memorable moment of being a Tiger?

My most memorable moment of being a Tiger coach is clinching the HCC Championship at Zionsville in 2017. After the last out was made, I just sat on my bucket in the dugout and processed all the hard work and commitment that all the Tigers had made in the previous 10 years. The opportunity to hug my assistant Darren Simms who had been with me from the beginning was a very special moment that I will never forget.

Then, winning the 2017 Sectional over #1 Carmel. Again, celebrating with my coaching staff and with the players who will now forever be remembered as the 1st Tiger Baseball team to win the HCC and the Sectional.

Outside of baseball, my most memorable moment was when Tiger Football defeated Southeastern Royals in 2009 to erase the sign that read “It’s not a rivalry if Fishers never wins.” The Mudsock rivalry had officially begun!

(This question was asked prior to the 2018 State Series)

6. What do you feel students gain from participation in high school athletics?

Wow…I think there are far too many things to list. Student-athletes gain self-discipline, time management skills, the opportunity to work towards something bigger than themselves, ability to work with teammates to be the best they can be as a team, preparation for the real world, opportunity to overcome adversity, how to work hard, and on and on.