Q & A with Matthew Ellis

East welcomes new girls basketball coach

Alea Hoof

Caring, open-minded, father, husband, coach, leader, teacher, friend, mentorThese are all the words that describe East High Schools girls’ basketball coach Matthew Ellis 

Where were you born and raised?  

Ellis was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated from Des Moines North High school. After high school he attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa where he played basketball. This is where Ellis was sure he wanted to become a coach and help others become great at the game he loves.   

Why did you choose to work in a Des Moines Public school? 

“DMPS is a great location for me because it lets me utilize concepts from an academic/athletic youth development program called Basketball Plus Education,” Ellis said. Basketball Education plus is a program that uses basketball to enhance success through accomplishments“The program is designed to generate personal success in activities to encourage student performance, “Ellis said.  

What made you want to become the East girls’ basketball coach?  

It was an opportunity to be a head coach and share a playing system that is fun to play and exciting to watch, Ellis said. This is Ellis’ third-year teaching in the DMPS district and his first-year coaching in the DMPS district. He has coached the game of basketball for 40 years. 

What is one of the most important qualities to have as a coach? 

“You must have patience. “Ellis said. “There are many variables when it comes to coaching, but you have to kind of roll with it because you can’t ever be surprised when a happening occurs. Ellis believes the most rewarding part of coaching is establishing a solid relationship with his players because he wants to maximize their efforts.”   

How big is your family?  

Ellis has a family of four. Him and his wife Kristy have two kids named Marc and AbbiThey have two dogs. One is a Britney Spaniel named Otis and the other dog is Milo, a Shih Tzu Bichon which are also referred to as teddy bears. He believes Milo is truly living proof of that breed.” Ellis is due to be a grandfather in January. 

How would you describe your family in one word? 

He describes his family as loving. “Both of our kids are grown up and have left the house, but we are always in touch with each other in some way pretty much every day,” Ellis said.  

What are some hobbies you and your family do when you guys are together? 

“We are a hoops family, “Ellis said. He’s a family man. Him and his family have a lot of family get togethers which consist of sports. Many of his family members are Kansas City Royals and Kansas City chief fans. If he is not hanging out with his family, he is usually reading or messing with his basketball playing system. 

Who is your biggest inspiration? 

Ellis’ biggest inspirations in his life are his father Gene Ellis and his college basketball coach Buzz Levick. His words of wisdom he’s learned are “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. In other words, be humble. One day he hopes to become one of his players biggest inspirations