SHREWSBURY – Matthew Wheeler, the head coach of Shrewsbury’s boys soccer team, has been recognized for his coaching excellence.
At the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Awards Banquet, Wheeler was named the MIAA boys soccer coach of the year. Wheeler was also named the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Section I boys soccer coach of the year, being picked from thousands of coaches in New England, New York, and New Jersey.
“I was obviously incredibly honored and humbled,” Wheeler told the Community Advocate. “There are so many good coaches out there that I coach against, but also others that I don’t get the chance to. Any time you can get recognized for all the effort you put into things it means a lot.”
After starting his career in Grafton, Wheeler has coached in Shrewsbury for the last 12 years. In 2022, Wheeler earned Central Massachusetts coach of the year – he previously won this award in 2016 – and Midland-Wachusett League coach of the year honors, leading his team to CMADA Tournament and Midland-Wachusett League tournament victories.
“I certainly didn’t get into coaching to win any awards… I do it for the kids, for the game, wanting to still compete, and to share my experience with all the kids I have the opportunity to coach,” said Wheeler.
“[It’s rewarding because of] the kids. Every year you get a new set of kids… you have new faces and new dynamics. And with that, you have new challenges. I just really, truly, enjoy trying to motivate kids to get the best out of themselves on the field, but also help them relate sports to everyday life and the lessons they can take away: preparation, work ethic, attention to detail, being a good teammate,” he said.
Wheeler said that “it all starts with the support around [him],” thanking his athletes, the administration, Athletic Director Jay Costa and his assistant coaches.