When Matt Stowers first started as a physical education teacher at Chestatee when it opened in 2002, he strove to teach every student in accordance with the school’s three core values: Character, courage and commitment. After being named athletic director for the War Eagles last week, Stowers made it clear that two decades have not changed his goals for the program.
“The vision is that we prepare young men and women to be successful community members, successful husbands, successful wives, successful business leaders,” he said. “Some of them will have the opportunity to go on and play college athletics, but the truth of the matter is, statistically most won’t, and if we teach them how to overcome obstacles to be life ready in every aspect of their life, then we have succeeded.”
Stowers takes over for former athletic director Ben Corley, who will be shifting to Stowers’ former role as assistant principal and career tech. Stowers commended Corley for the job he did during his time as athletic director, adding that “(Corley) will continue to do a phenomenal job in his role at the school.”
Now, Stowers brings plenty of excitement to his own opportunity at the helm of Chestatee’s athletic department.
“This was not necessarily something I was going after, but it was a need, and something that I have always, since I’ve been at Chestatee, dreamed of doing,” he said. “God just opened the door for me, and I stepped in.”
Stowers has been integral to War Eagle athletics since the school’s inception.
Starting as a physical education teacher, he also spent time coaching football, wrestling and baseball. In 2013, he was hired away to become athletic director at Johnson, but returned to Chestatee four years later when an assistant principal role opened up at his former school.
In his first year as Chestatee’s AD, Stowers said he plans on backing up the War Eagles standard of excellence by instilling principles of effort and hustle in every athlete, both on and off the field.
“The only way to achieve excellence is to consistently give your best effort,” Stowers said. “Always have your best attitude and do your best in everything that you undertake to do, whether it’s taking out the garbage or playing quarterback on Friday nights, it’s just to do your best at it.”
Stowers said he hopes for success for all of Chestatee’s teams, but that ultimately he’s more interested in teaching every athlete that goes through the school values that will help them beyond their high school years.
He’s come a long way from starting as a PE teacher for the War Eagles in 2002, but Stowers goal has never wavered. For him, it’s always been about character, courage and commitment.
“When kids leave this campus, those three core values will guide them the rest of their lives,” he said. “And that’s our goal, both as a school and an athletic program, is to instill character, courage and commitment in our kids.”