Matt Large attended Southern Wesleyan University and played baseball for the Warriors and then took a job as a math teacher at Wade Hampton High School.
He was unsure about being a coach, but Wade Hampton athletic director Darryl Nance talked him into it.
“I’m glad he did,” Large said Thursday, shortly after being introduced as the school’s new baseball coach.
Large, 25, served as varsity assistant under Austin Lynch and then Ryan Thomas the past three seasons and as junior varsity head coach.
“I’ve been here with all these kids for three years, so I’m very excited to continue working with them,” Large said.
Large said the reason he was hesitant about coaching was that he was “worried more about being a teacher first.”
“I tell these kids every day they’re student-athletes,” he said. “That’s one thing that’s going to be a huge aspect of my life in coaching is they’re going to be students first, and they’re going to be athletes second, so we can be role models on and off the field.”
A native of Locust, North Carolina, about 20 minutes outside of Charlotte, Large said he’s grateful to have had mentors such as Lynch, Thomas and Grant Hunter. Large also has worked as an assistant volleyball coach under Hunter.
“I’m just very thankful for where I am,” Large said. “I’m at a great school, and I’m glad I got the job, because this is where I want to be.
“We have a great group of young men and a good group of parents, so I’m excited. I’m ready to get to it. … When (people) see (Wade Hampton), I want them to talk about the baseball program. I want them to talk about these young men. I want to see them rack up awards, not only on the field but off the field as well.”