Warriors Stay Within, Hire Nauset Grad Mattson as New Athletic Director

NORTH EASTHAM – He’s low-key but defines professionalism and he’s Nauset Regional High School’s latest hire as the school’s new full-time athletic director.

South Orleans native John Mattson (left), seen here last summer with his American Legion all-star players in Rockland, is the new Nauset Regional High School athletic director. Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

South Orleans native John Mattson (left), seen here last summer with his American Legion all-star players in Rockland, is the new Nauset Regional High School athletic director.
Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

John Mattson, who graduated from Nauset Regional High School in 2005 and has been a physical education teacher and JV basketball and baseball coach for the past six years, took over as the new athletic director effective July 1 and in the past two weeks he has been busier than ever.

Also the head coach for Orleans Post 308 American Legion baseball – a program he has managed for the past four seasons with relative success – Mattson was born in Hyannis and grew up in South Orleans and played baseball and basketball at Nauset before matriculating to the University of Maine at Orono where he played club baseball.

Mattson takes over for former athletic director Keith Keyon who was promoted to an ultra-time consuming vice principal’s position and stepped aside as the head football coach as well after hiring friend and former Green Bay Packers’ head coach Mike Sherman this spring. For many months, Mattson had been helping Kenyon as a volunteer assistant athletic director as the transition to a new athletic director was being made.

The hiring has been, admittedly, kept close to the vest as Mattson got his feet wet while managing a grueling American Legion baseball season, his fourth straight.

“We have two assistant principals and it’s way too much. With him (Coach Kenyon) moving up to assistant principal there’s just no way he could continue to be the AD as well,” Mattson said.

Mattson is going to continue as an assistant varsity baseball coach with varsity head coach Lou Elia in the spring and continue to teach one session of physical education each semester.

“It’s going to be crazy the first year… It’s doable, but at the same time it’s certainly going to be challenging just to give up that time out of the (AD’s) office to be teaching but at the same time it’s going to be nice to get out with the kids and be out of the office,” Mattson said.

For his first four years at Nauset, Mattson was an assistant basketball coach with former Nauset Warriors varsity head coach Keith Arnold.

“For me to go away to the University of Maine was nice but I never even expected to have the opportunity to come home and get a position there so it’s pretty cool,” Mattson said.

A baseball and basketball player at Nauset Regional High, Mattson said that the one regret he had after his “Warrior” years was not taking his participation in athletics as seriously as he could have.

“I’ve always regreted that I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have, that I didn’t work as hard as I should have. I think that’s part of the reason why I wanted to get back into athletics because I’ve always loved athletics and sports… I probably could have done a lot better, especially with baseball” Mattson said.

Mattson, 28, grew up with one younger sister and three older sisters and played basketball for the highly-esteemed Leo Miller.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Mattson said. “I try to carry myself with maturity and to treat people the right way. My parents never pushed us or required us to do things. I wouldn’t say athletics is in our blood but we all played sports and we are a very competitive family and always try to be the best at whatever we do.”

Mattson was also selected as the District 10 American Legion East Division assistant all-star game coach for four straight seasons but due to his hectic schedule with his new position the past couple weeks he had to decline the selection this summer.

“I’m really excited for the new role,” Mattson said. “I have great relationships with the kids, all the coaches and teachers. They see the way I carry myself at work and I think I have their respect and they have mine.”

— Sean Walsh is the sports editor for www.capecod.com. His email is [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm

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