Football coach Ryan Matsook returning to sidelines at Western Beaver

Monday, June 8, 2020 | 6:56 PM

At Western Beaver, Ryan Matsook’s work duties already include assistant principal and athletic director.

Now, add football coach to his busy schedule.

Four years after winning WPIAL and PIAA football titles at Beaver Falls, Matsook is making a coaching comeback. Western Beaver needed a football coach after Derek Moye resigned in November, so Matsook has decided to return to the sidelines as the Golden Beavers head coach.

Matsook said he’ll coach in conjunction with Ron Busby, an assistant coach who works as an elementary school principal in the district.

“When Derek stepped down, we were in a bind,” Matsook said. “We’ll kind of head it up together and do what we’ve got to do. We’ll try to keep the momentum going here.”

Matsook coached 11 seasons at Beaver Falls. He resigned after winning WPIAL and PIAA titles in 2016, leaving with a career record of 101-26 and three WPIAL championship appearances.

Western Beaver went 7-3 overall last season, 4-3 in the Class 2A Midwestern Conference in Moye’s first season. Moye had to resign for work-related reasons, Matsook said.

The football program has a co-op with Lincoln Park, meaning Western Beaver can draw players from the Midland charter school. The roster has about 30 players.

“When Derek had to move on, it was great that Ryan jumped right in,” Lincoln Park athletic director Mike Bariski said. “He’s perfect for the job. He’s going to give us a competitive edge.”

The decision was made weeks ago, but the statewide shutdown of school buildings delayed the transition. PIAA teams have been banned from working out together since March, a restriction that should end soon.

“They’ve got a decent amount of kids coming back,” Matsook said. “It should be fun.”

Matsook wouldn’t predict whether this was a short-term coaching job or something he’ll consider keeping. His hesitation involves the time commitment his school administrator job already requires.

“Even when I coached at Beaver Falls, each year you re-evaluate and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to go back for another one,’ ” Matsook said. “You take it year to year and see where it goes. With that being said, as an administrator, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I thought it was going to be difficult from a time standpoint.

“But we’ll see.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at or via Twitter .


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