“There is none better than Beech Grove parents, students and players … you give me five Beech Grove players who come out and play basketball hard, and that’s heaven for me.”
– Matt English at the unveiling of Matt English Court, Oct. 27, 2018.
Aside from his family, his true love was being with his players in workouts, practices and games. His two mottos, “We Before Me” and “The Journey Begins Here,” are inscribed on the court. “We Before Me” emphasized team, but it also rallied an entire community for support in his seven-year battle against cancer.
Subsequently, we stood tall alongside English. He withstood the pains of chemotherapy and always battled back.
He stayed strong for his family. And he returned to a few practices in a wheelchair to direct a few drills and to remind his players to never give up.
He attended his last game Nov. 20, when the Hornets defeated Scecina. Coincidentally, the team is undefeated on the newly named court. His journey began in Greenfield, where he recently was honored at Greenfield Central High School, where he played basketball.
His college number 41 is stitched on players uniforms at Bethel College in Tennessee, where he is the school’s all-time leading scorer. He arrived at Beech Grove in 2008 as a teacher and coach and was named athletic director in 2012.
A hard hat and lunch pail will be placed on the coach’s chair at future home games at the court. His courageous and inspirational struggle against cancer ended Monday, leaving a legacy of humility and selflessness.
He is survived by his wife, Angela. They have a daughter Addison, 10; English also has two adult daughters, Kayla and Taylor.
The Southsider Voice is saddened by his death; we join the community in celebrating his life.