HUDSON — A familiar name in Caldwell County athletics is stepping away from the game after leading Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute men’s basketball to three of its all-time best seasons, as well as ushering in a new era as athletic director with the addition of two new sports.
Matt Anderson stepped down this week as CCC&TI athletic director, a position he had held since 2010 when he was also hired to be head coach of men’s basketball. Anderson stepped down as head coach in May 2018 to serve as athletic director full-time. Anderson also had served in various academic roles at the college, including as CCC&TI’s transition advisor at West Caldwell High School and as a physical education instructor on CCC&TI’s Caldwell Campus in Hudson.
“I can’t begin to describe how much I have enjoyed my time here,” Anderson said, adding that he’s leaving for a job in financial services. “This was one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make, but ultimately it just felt it was the best thing for my family. I take great pride in being a part of this college and I will always be a Caldwell Cobra at heart.”
Under Anderson’s leadership, the Cobras finished as National Junior College Athletic Association Division III National Runner-Up in 2014 and finished fourth in 2013. Most recently, the Cobras were Division III Region 10 champions in 2016 and qualified for the 24-team NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament in 2017, the team’s first year in Division I after the jump from Division III.
During Anderson’s time as athletic director, the resurgence of the women’s basketball team continued, as evidenced by a 17-8 record and a runner-up finish in the Region 10 tournament in 2019, and the addition of baseball and softball programs in 2018 followed by the hiring of coaches, recruiting and the first games in 2019.
Anderson’s career record as CCC&TI’s men’s basketball head coach was 172-78, which included coaching five NJCAA All-Americans. A local basketball standout at West Caldwell High School, Anderson played college basketball at High Point University, and also served as an assistant coach at Mars Hill College and West Caldwell High School.
“We can’t express enough appreciation for Matt Anderson and his contributions,” CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poach said. “As athletic director, he has helped continue our tradition of excellence in men’s and women’s basketball, and led our efforts to expand CCC&TI athletics to include baseball and softball. Most importantly, Matt always made academics a priority for our student athletes. He did a great job of emphasizing the recruitment of students who showed talent both in their sport and in the classroom. We’re going to miss his competitive spirit and leadership, but wish him the best in his new career.”
Beginning Feb. 1, CCC&TI’s Dean of Career and Technical Education Jeff Link will add interim athletic director to his duties. Link, who joined the staff of CCC&TI in August 2014, is a familiar name in regional sports. In addition to serving as an announcer at CCC&TI sporting events, Link also co-hosts The Scoreboard Show sports talk program on WJRI 1340AM/100.5 FM in Lenoir and is a local sports broadcaster on KICKS 103.3 WKVS-FM.
Prior to his employment at CCC&TI, Link was a principal and an assistant principal at West Caldwell High School. He’s also served as assistant principal at Watauga High School, athletic director of Watauga County Schools and assistant principal and athletic director at East Burke High School.
CCC&TI anticipates naming its permanent athletic director this summer.
Cobras top Spartanburg Methodist in men’s basketball
The Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute men’s basketball team earned an 88-79 win over Spartanburg Methodist on Wednesday in Hudson. Kameron Cooke led the Cobras (22-1, 4-1 in Region 10) with a game-high 25 points, while Jalen Barr added 18, Alex Lineberger scored 15 and Anderson Keller notched 10.
The Pioneers (7-11, 1-4 in Region 10) got 24 points from Jamarvious Jones and 20 from Tyrell Oglesby. Darius Bryant added 17 points, with David Miller scoring 10.
The Cobras travel to Richard Bland Community College on Saturday at 3 p.m.