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Curtis stepping down as head coach from Philipsburg

Matt Curtis

Matthew Curtis, who led the Philipsburg-Osceola boys basketball team to a playoff appearance and a 10-13 record last season, has resigned from his coaching position.

Curtis entered this past season with a career record of 15-95 in five years, but the Mounties made significant improvement despite playing in a tough Mountain League.

“I took the head coaching job six years ago with the plan to rebuild the program to the state it was in when I was playing,” Curtis wrote in a statement released on Twitter Monday. “I believe we have returned to that and are about to break through to big things.”

The May 12 minutes of the Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District Board of Directors listed Curtis as being moved from a middle school health/physical education position to the same senior high position.

In addition, Curtis is to be hired as the P-O assistant athletic director at a salary of $9,000.14 for the 2020-2021 school year. Robert Mann, who briefly resigned as the school’s athletic director earlier this year, will be rehired in the same position.

“This is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make and one I wasn’t fully prepared to make,” Curtis wrote. “For me to continue moving forward with my future goals and after talking with the school board, I realized I was going to have to step down in the very near future. With that being said, I am leaving you in great hands with board approval of your next head coach. I made sure you are getting the best out there.”

The minutes seem to imply a new coach is set to be hired, but a blank space is listed under a motion on the agenda to hire a new boys basketball coach at a salary of $5,560.35.

“A couple months ago, our head athletic director resigned, and I was supposed to become the athletic director,” Curtis said. “But they decided with all the things going on, they wanted to keep things the same for one more year, and (Mann) decided to come back for one more year. They allowed me to go out and look for another coach, and I didn’t want to hand the program over to just anybody. We do know who the next coach is going to be, but I can’t release it until (May 26). The moment it gets board approved, which I don’t see any problems unless there’s someone else within the district that’s an insider, we will let everyone know but he’s very familiar to the area.”

Curtis wrote that he still intends to assist the varsity boys basketball program, just not serve as the head coach.

“This was probably one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make in my life,” Curtis said. “We started from the bottom and made it all the way back to the playoffs. We have a lot of talent coming back next year. We have a good group of strong younger players coming up, and the program is going in the right direction. The best is yet to come. The next three or four years should be really good for Mountie basketball.”

Mann said the school has been pleased with the direction of the program.

“Matt has done a phenomenal job with P-O boys basketball,” Mann said. “He’s been very involved from the elementary program to middle school all the way up to coaching the varsity team. He’s done a great job. There were a couple years where we were winning a couple games a year, and this last year we won double-digit games and made the playoffs for the first time in I want to say 10 or 12 years.”

Mann also detailed the transitional plan between himself and Curtis as the school’s athletic director.

“Matt will be at the high school every day with me,” Mann said. “I think it’s a good opportunity for both of us to be together this year. I can pass along a lot of things I have learned the past couple years, and we can share that information which will hopefully make for a smooth transition if I do in fact leave next year and he takes over.”

Also listed on the May 12 P-O minutes is a motion on the regular voting agenda to hire members of Philipsburg-Osceola’s football staff led by returning coach Jeff Vroman.

Those coaches include Jeff Baughman, Dave McKnight and former Tyrone head coach Jason Wilson. Cory Wood was also hired to serve as the head junior high football coach.

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