Three Rivers native hired to lead Wildcat athletic program
THREE RIVERS — Matt Stofer has come back home.
The Three Rivers alumnus has always had a love for Kalamazoo and the surrounding area, especially the community he grew up in.
Stofer, a 1994 Three Rivers graduate, was officially hired Monday night by the Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education to become the district’s new athletic director.
Andy Mains, Three Rivers’ athletic director the past two years, recently accepted the position of Three Rivers Middle School principal. Mains’ last official day as athletic director will be June 30.
Stofer will begin his official duties as athletic director the first week in July.
Stofer participated in football and tennis in high school at Three Rivers.
“I got to play football here for former coaches Scot Shaw and Jeff Zonyk. I also got to play high school tennis for my dad (Hal Stofer) when he was coaching and that was great,” Matt Stofer said.
Three Rivers qualified for the state tournament during Matt’s senior year which, at that point, hadn’t happened since the Wildcats’ dynasty in boys’ tennis back in the early to mid-1980s during the era of the Kiewiet brothers.
“Just growing up around that group of coaches like Shaw, Zonyk, Dick Konwinski, John Messenger, Mike Rutenbar, Paul VanderWiere, Charlie Riley, my dad and others helped me fall in love with athletics. They were all teachers, coaches and athletic directors and I just liked what they did,” Stofer said.
In 2006 Stofer accepted the position of athletic director at Carrollton High School near Saginaw.
“That was a great opportunity at that time to switch sides of the state. I’m really glad I did it and I met a lot of great people,” Stofer said.
Stofer spent seven years at Carrollton and earned a Region Athletic Director of the Year Award.
‘That allowed me some opportunities to start looking back over here on this side of the state. I’ve always been a Kalamazoo guy with Western Michigan University here and I love this side of the state,” Stofer said.
Later and out of the blue, the athletic director’s job at Allegan High School opened up. Stofer applied and was awarded the job. Stofer has spent the last four years leading Allegan’s athletic program.
Over the last couple years Stofer has developed a good working relationship with Mains. When the chance came for Mains to pursue the middle school principal’s job in Three Rivers, Stofer made up his mind to apply for the athletic director’s position.
“Coming back here to Three Rivers is my dream job. I’ve had a lot of high school friends and classmates that still live in the area and out of state that have reached out and communicated with me,” Stofer said.
Please see Tuesday's Commercial News or e-edition for full article.