NCS Coach of the Year: Noel Mattern


Noel Mattern on the far left and other members of the cross country team.

Henrikch Aguisando and Tati Strickland

Granada’s Cross Country team is the most successful team the East Bay has seen in years. This past weekend, all six levels of runners placed first at this year’s EBAL Championship, and both boys and girls are heading to the NCS Championship. Behind this great group of athletes is Noel and Jeremy Mattern.

Due to the recent success this season and seasons prior, Granada’s athletic director, David Moore nominated Noel Mattern for NCS Coach of the Year. It was not a surprise when Mattern was announced as the winner.

Winning this award meant the world to Mattern because he has put his heart and soul into this team. “I am very grateful that our athletic director Mr.Moore nominated me, and I think it does a great job representing Granada cross country and the hard work that all the coaches at Granada put in.”

Mattern has been the head coach of the cross country team for over 15 years. “I have been coaching cross country since 2006.”

His excellent level of coaching derives from his long time experience of competing in the sport. “I ran cross country in high school, starting back in 1989, and then I ran cross country and track and field at UC Davis.”

The Mattern brothers stepped up their previous training regime in order to blow out the competition. “We are always trying to evolve our training, and we try to evolve it in a way that we think will meet the needs of the current student population. So it is very rare that we repeat workouts at exactly the same time of year or try to do the same things. We are always trying to invite and try new things,” said Noel Mattern.

Jeremy Mattern is the brother of Noel, and they work together to coach the cross country teams. “I’m really happy that the athletes really buy into the hard work we put in. I think it’s up to coaches in every sport to model, discipline, and encourage athletes to strive for their very best,” said Jeremy.

The brotherly love is felt throughout the team and Jeremy is so proud of his brother for his recent accomplishment. “I’m really happy for him, he puts in so much time into the program not just at practice but hours every night thinking about training, reviewing training logs, and putting in entries for meets. He has been on of the most successful coaches in the North Coast Section for two decades now, so it is well deserved.”

The two work hand in hand and are a key to the success of the team. “My brother and I have always been really close and have always been each other’s biggest supporters.  It was always the dream to coach together, so when I moved back up to Northern California it has been a fun thing to do,” said Jeremy.

Luther Hart is part of the victorious cross country team here at Granada, and he has been running for the Matterns since freshman year.

Having a set of coaches that supports their athletes is very crucial for a high performing team. Hart said, “The Matterns are great at motivating people, sometimes giving speeches at practice, or telling you exactly what you need to run, and whether they think you can do better. Even if it’s hard to take the criticism, they’re always just looking to make you a better runner.”

With Noel Mattern being such a powerhouse in the cross country world, he has been a light for his team and has helped them improve vastly. Hart continued, “He has told me to just be consistent, and feel good about running. Sometimes you can get stuck thinking that you aren’t actually a good runner, or that you don’t run much, but Mattern has shown me a lot about how just by putting in as much work as you can, you can become a great runner.”

This award doesn’t only matter to Mattern, but it matters significantly to the team. Hart said, “It feels awesome that he won the award, and I even think it is a little overdue. Noel has been coaching here for about 2o years, and in that time he’s turned the team into a running power, making things like winning NCS years and years in a row on the girls side possible.”