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St. Mary's names Matt Ard new football coach

By Keith McShea

Matt ArdSt. Mary's has found its new football coach from within. Matt Ard, the school's Dean of Student Affairs and a former assistant at the school, was named the Lancers' coach today.

Ard is an Amherst grad who was the defensive coordinator at St. Mary's for the 2011 and 2012 seasons following a decade as an assistant at Maryvale.  

Ard replaces Dave Hersey, who was let go by the school after coaching the Lancers for the last four seasons. Hersey was 21-16.

Here is the full press release from St. Mary's:


Mr. Joe Rera, athletic director of St. Mary’s High School in Lancaster, has announced that Matt Ard has been named the new Varsity Football Coach at the school.

A 1996 graduate of Amherst High School, where he was a three-year starter on the varsity football team, Mr. Ard studied at West Virginia University and D’Youville College, from which he earned his bachelor’s degree.  His football coaching career began in 1998 at University High School, Morgantown, W.V., where he coached for two seasons.  He spent the next 10 seasons at Maryvale High School before serving as the defensive coordinator at St. Mary’s High School for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.  In addition to high school teams, Mr. Ard has been a four-time assistant coach for the Kensington Lions Club South Team (2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009).

In 2010, Mr. Ard was hired as a Social Studies teacher at St. Mary’s.  In 2012, he was named the school’s Dean of Student Affairs.

“It has been my lifelong dream to be a head coach on the high school level,” Mr. Ard commented.  “I believe that I am ready to take on the challenge that comes with the position.  And to coach at the school that I call home makes it all the more special.

“My main goal is to make St. Mary’s one of the top football programs in Western New York,” Mr. Ard continued.  “I want it to become a program that is revered on and off of the field.”

"He already commands a tremendous amount of respect from the St. Mary's students, from being a teacher as well as the Dean of Student Affairs,” stated Mr. Rera when announcing the hiring. “That familiarity is important to me and more importantly to the kids. I'm excited to see what he can do."

Mr. Steve Griffin, the head coach at Maryvale High School when Mr. Ard was an assistant and present athletic director at Maryvale, was asked what he believes Mr. Ard will bring to the position. "Dedication,” Mr. Griffin said. “He was my right hand man when he was coaching with me. I couldn't have done the job without him. He brings 16 years of coaching experience with him. It's a great move for St. Mary's."

Mr. Ard and his wife Kristen and daughter Kendra, who is a student at St. Mary’s, live in Alden.


Football | St. Mary's/Lancaster
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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

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