When Matt Hatton graduated from Hobart College in 2001, after playing lacrosse for four seasons at the Division I level, the Corning, N.Y., native did not plan on becoming a college coach.
"I wasn't one of those guys who graduated from college knowing that I wanted to coach," Hatton said. "I took a job in business in Boston my first year out of school. I went there and was working, loved Boston, but I couldn't see myself doing what I was doing for a long period of time."
Thirteen seasons of coaching later, Hatton is putting an end to his collegiate coaching career. On July 1, Hatton took over as the athletic director at Archbishop Curley, where he will be replacing longtime athletic director Bill Dawson. Hatton has spent the majority of his time coaching lacrosse at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md., first as a graduate assistant for three years, then as the head coach for nine years.
"The draw of McDaniel, initially, along with being able to coach, was they had a program in counseling education," Hatton said. "I was a little bit more in tune with that than teaching, so that was what I wanted to study."
Hatton has led McDaniel through one of the most successful spells in the history of the school's lacrosse program. He has coached the Division III school to 65 wins during his time as head coach. From 2009-12, the Green Terror qualified for the Centennial Conference playoffs three times.
"We beat Gettysburg for the first time since I had been in high school," Hatton said. "If you ask guys who were in the program back at that time, they would probably say that was their highlight. More importantly, I learned how crucial it is to develop meaningful relationships with people. I feel like I developed a lot of positive relationships with people, who, if I go back to McDaniel, will be happy to see me there. When I see people from McDaniel, whether it be past and current players or people from the administration, I still have relationships with them."
While at McDaniel, he met his wife, Carol, who was also pursuing a career in coaching collegiate lacrosse. After serving as head coach at her alma mater, St. Mary's College of Maryland, then coaching for a year at Gerstell Academy, Carol Hatton was hired as head coach of the women's lacrosse team at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa.
"I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to be a head coach really young," Carol Hatton said. "It's valuable to be able to sit back and learn from others, but it's also valuable to try it yourself as early as possible, which is what I did. Dickinson is a great academic institution, great athletics, and I just liked Division III."
After coaching at Dickinson for four years, Carol Hatton became the athletic director at Roland Park Country School in Baltimore beginning with the 2014-15 academic year. The change led to conversations between the Hattons regarding their future. Their first child, a girl named Reese, was born in May 2011.
With the family living in Carroll County, Carol Hatton had a long commute to Baltimore for the job at Roland Park, something she also had when she coached at Dickinson. The Hattons were content with their situation but kept their ears open for any jobs that may provide them with a better all-around fit for their family. In January, they heard about the opening for the athletic director position at Curley.
"[The] first time I went there, I didn't meet the head administrators at the school," Matt Hatton said. "It was more like probing from both standpoints about what I could bring to the position."
After another round of interviewing that included Brian Kohler, the principal at Curley, Matt Hatton was offered the position.
"For me, I just want everyone in my family to be happy" Carol Hatton said. "I could see how happy it made him to be offered that job. I am also the planner in the family, so the logistics pieces started coming into play."
The timing of the job offer also made for a tricky situation. Matt Hatton was in the middle of the lacrosse season at McDaniel and didn't want his new job to become a distraction to the team.
"We had the same situation, in terms of getting hired before our lacrosse seasons were over," Carol Hatton said. "That part was really challenging for me. I had to tell my team a lot earlier than Matt did, so I was really happy for him that he got to tell his team close to the end of the season."
While he did get to wait until late in the season, Matt Hatton still wanted to wait a little bit longer to tell his team about his decision to leave for Curley.
"People start talking, and some things prompted me to tell them sooner than I would have liked, but I'm glad that I got to tell my players," Matt Hatton said. "I know a lot of collegiate coaches leave in the summertime and don't have that opportunity to speak to their team. I am grateful for the way Curley and McDaniel handled it."
It's been a hectic summer for the Hattons. The couple welcomed their second child, a boy named Max, in May. They are also in the process of selling their home in Carroll County and moving to a home in Mt. Washington.
"Sometimes, change brings apprehension, but we've been able to get through it," Matt Hatton said. "I think moving to Baltimore means we will be able to immerse ourselves into our schools more. I'm not sure you can fully embrace what is going on at an institution if you are only there when you need to be. Being so close to where we will be working will allow us to be there for evening, weekend and sporting events, for both Curley and RPCS."
In addition to all the changes in his personal life, Matt Hatton will have to learn the ins and outs of being an athletic director.
"I've never been an athletic director before, so I have to learn on the fly," Matt Hatton said. "We need to work together, administratively, to make sure we can serve our athletes, coaches and institution in the best way possible."
Carol Hatton is confident he will be able to learn quickly.
"No one will outwork him," Carol Hatton said. "He is super competitive, and that doesn't mean win at all costs -- it means making sure that the teams are behaving the way they should and setting a good example for the rest of the school. He's a team player and does a great job of interacting with people. He is going to get to know everyone quickly."
For Matt Hatton, he is hoping his experience of coaching at the collegiate level can help Curley's students as they look ahead to life after high school.
"On top of making sure that the experience is a positive one for our athletes, it's also important to try to prepare our guys for the next level, whether if that means playing sports in college or not," Matt Hatton said. "When we see our young men off, we want to make sure they are prepared for what comes after Curley. I look forward to helping with that."