Matt Vavro, the new assistant men’s basketball coach at Glen Oaks Community College, has experienced every level of organized hoops.
The position with the Vikings opened up when Joel Schroeder took a full-time job elsewhere that conflicted with the practice schedule. He’ll continue as the head women’s coach and golf coach. Another former assistant, Justin Davenport, took the assistant head coach position at Lake Superior State.
Vavro, who played for and graduated from Garfield Heights (Ohio) High School in 1999, has put in time at the prep, AAU and professional levels. He played one season for Division II Tiffin University, and completed his undergraduate studies at Cleveland State. Vavro received his Master’s degree in Science of Education from the University of Akron.
He spent time as an intern in public relations for both the Cleveland Caveliers and the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.
“He’s really good at individual workouts,” Vikings men’s coach and athletic director Steve Proefrock said. “That’s going to be real key for us. We develop our players on a daily basis. They say players are made in the offseason and teams are made in season. I believe that players are made year-round. We do a lot of individual skill development and practice during the season as well.
“He’s got a Master’s degree, too, which is nice because he’s teaching a few classes here on campus. He’s well educated and knows the game very well. He’s a hard worker and extremely motivated.”
Vavro is adjusting well, with the biggest challenge so far, he said, being settling on a permanent residence. After all of his basketball assignments over the years, he finally has his foot in the door at the college level.
“This is what I want to do; I definitely want to be a college basketball coach,” he said. “That’s No. 1. But I enjoy the other aspects of it. It was a great experience being part of the Cavs in PR and [being a part] of the NBA. I worked in the PR department when I did my undergrad at Cleveland State. Both my internships were great experiences. I met a lot of cool people. But in terms of what I want to do, I want to be a college basketball coach.”
The Vikings can’t get into game-planning mode until Oct. 1, but Vavro has gotten to know the 15 players pretty well through open gyms, workouts and weight room sessions.
“I think we’re going to be very solid,” he said. “As long as we continue to work hard and stay focused we’re going to be a team to be reckoned with this year. We have very good depth and there are no weak links on this team. We have 16. We lost one because of eligibility issues. Everyone on the team can play, and we’re athletic and quick. We are going to try and get up the court and run and gun.”
Glen Oaks kicks off a series of scrimmages on Oct. 6 in Danville. Its first game is at the Indiana Institute of Technology on Nov. 5.