New Hampshire Football Report

Matthews making move to Bedford

Zach Matthews will be coaching varsity football in New Hampshire next season, but it won’t be at Kearsarge Regional.

Bedford athletic director Corey Parker announced Saturday the school has hired Matthews as a physical education teacher and varsity football coach. Matthews spent the last eight seasons as the varsity coach at Kearsarge.

Matthews will replace Derek Stank, who resigned as Bedford’s head coach last month to become the head coach at San Marcos (Calif.) High School. Bedford qualified for the Division I playoffs in each of Stank’s four years as the program’s varsity head coach. He led the Bulldogs to the Division I championship twice (2016 and 2018) and Bedford reached the Division I semifinals in his two other seasons.

Matthews played at Plymouth State and got into coaching when he served as Utica’s wide receivers coach during his first year out of college. He spent five years as the offensive coordinator at Merrimack Valley and took over as the defensive coordinator at Kearsarge in 2010, when the Cougars beat St. Thomas in the Division V championship game. He became Kearsarge’s head coach in 2011.

“To make a move I was looking for the right school … a football program you’d want to work with and a teaching position, and for me that’s physical education,” Matthews said. “I feel with my head coaching experience it was a good fit. I’m looking at this as a long-term situation.”

Matthews record by season at Kearsarge:

2011: 7-3, lost to Windham in Division V semifinals.
2012: 7-2, lost to Monadnock in Division V semifinals.
2013: 2-7 in Division II.
2014: 5-5, lost to Kennett in Division II semifinals.
2015: 6-3, lost to Kennett in Division II semifinals.
2016: 5-2 in Division III.
2017: 4-5, lost to Monadnock in Division III semifinals.
2018: 1-8 in Division III.

Matthews won’t start teaching at Bedford until the 2019-20 school year. He’ll continue to coach Kearsarge lacrosse this season, but said he will also work with the Bedford football program on nights and weekends when his schedule allows.

He said Bedford fans shouldn’t expect to see a lot of changes with regard to how the Bulldogs look on the field.

“I definitely know what I want to do,” he said. “We’re still going to be a spread team. Bedford has been a spread team for years. They played defense at a high level last season. Not a whole lot of changes there, either.”

Matthews met with his former players on Friday, and spoke to his new team for the first time Saturday.

“Gotta get ready to defend that state championship,” he said.


Newport also filled its football vacancy last week when it hired John Proper to replace Dennis Borcuk as its varsity head coach. Borcuk resigned after one season as the school’s varsity coach. Proper, 41, is Newport’s fourth head coach in the last six years.

Proper, 41, played center and defensive end on Newport’s 1995 team, which won the Division IV championship. He’s Newport’s fourth head coach in the last six years.

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