CALIPATRIA — The Calipatria Hornets hired their coach of the future — 27-year-old Matt Self. As cousin of former assistant coach and current Brawley High School Head Coach Jon Self — who was once an assistant at Calipatria High — and Grandson of Ed Self who spent thirty years on the Hornet sidelines and served as a teacher, principal, and on the school board in Calipatria, he hopes to add himself to his family’s legacy in the Hornet football pantheon.
“I have many different feelings of this amazing opportunity. Excitement, nervousness, happiness, just so many special feelings,” said Self on taking over the Calipatria coaching position.
Self has been a staple on the Hornet sideline, serving as an assistant coach under Coach Keith Smith, as well as running the Calipatria Junior High Flag Football programs since they began operations in 2018. In a season that saw fellow assistant coaches Lawrence Landy, Isaiah Quiroz, John Reyes, Jacob Whannel, Josh Wise, Mark Valdez, and Pedro Sanchez jump into the program late into the preseason due to a coaching change, the Hornets fielded a competitive squad, posting a 3-6 record on the season. Self looks forward to the challenge of continuing on the improvement of the squad in the upcoming seasons.
“I love the game, and love working with kids and want to be able to help them be successful, not only on the field but in life in general,” said Self.
Along with serving as an assistant on the high school football staff on the Calipatria sidelines, Self has also been on staff in Brawley, including a stint with the JV Wildcat squad as an assistant under Rick Rubio. He played his high school football in Brawley under Head Coach John Bishop, graduating in 2011. From there, Self continued his football career at Mayville State where he played football in the 2011-2015 seasons. After graduating in 2016 he made his way back to the Valley. His coaching career began shortly thereafter.
Now at the helm of an up and coming program, Self is looking to make strides and continue the growth of the Hornet program with the time and effort he has put forth at the youth level, as well as developing technique and building an emphasis on teamwork — skills needed to succeed at the next level.
“My main goal this year is to build comradery, of course be able to win games, but to keep the team together and get them better every single day on and off the field.”