Basketball Coach Resigns

Matt Usher takes job … at Saratoga Schools

Former Saratoga Springs Blue Streak Matt Usher is a Blue Streak once again.
Usher confirmed last Friday he had just submitted his resignation to the Granville School District following signing a contract with the Saratoga Springs School District and having it accepted by its board of education on Tuesday, Aug. 10.

“It’s always been something that I wanted to do eventually. I just didn’t know when I’d be able to. When this opportunity came along I just felt it was time,” Usher said. Usher said he had kept the district informed of his search by speaking with Superintendent Mark Bessen.
“I’m doing this with mixed emotions. I’m excited to get back to Saratoga and I’m looking forward to that but I’ll miss some of the things in Granville and a lot of the people,”’ Usher said.
Usher said he will be a physical education teacher at the middle school level, likely at Maple Avenue and Caroline Street schools, and will take on some position within the basketball program.
Usher said he looked forward to working with longtime Saratoga Springs boys basketball coach Mitch Snyder, the man he said inspired him to get into coaching and teaching.
“He’s a great guy, a great guy. I’m looking forward to this opportunity. I’ll be working with (Snyder) helping with the hoops program whether as an assistant or at the lower levels, wherever they need me,” Usher said.
The Granville boys basketball program would have been without a head coach this school year regardless as Usher confirmed prior to the opening in Saratoga becoming available he had agreed to join Castleton (Vt.) State College as an assistant with the men’s basketball program. Due to the new job and the distances involved Usher said he had to back out of that agreement.
Usher said he began hearing about a possible opening in Saratoga and started to consider the job, one on a short list of places he said he would consider leaving Granville to go to. “It was something I felt that I couldn’t pass up,” Usher said.
Usher was a physical education teacher and boys basketball head coach during his four years in the district. Usher received tenure one year ago.
As head coach, Usher turned around an underachieving boys basketball program following the coaching stints of Dan Poucher and Jeff Keller.
The team played in home sectional games in each of the last two seasons, something that had not happened in a number of years. A team also reached the class B semifinals, coming up a few points shy of facing Granville alum Eric Wilson and his Fonda-Fultonville Braves, instead falling to Broadalbin Perth in the 2009 Class B playoffs. Usher’s teams put together a record of 28 and 13 during the past two seasons. Bessen said the district plan with an eye on next year’s budget is to try to cover physical education classes without hiring a replacement for Usher.



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