Dickson officially hires Matt Suffal as athletic director, football coach

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
Matt Suffal was officially hired on Thursday night as athletic director and head football coach at Dickson High School.

Sometimes life gives you an opportunity that is too good to pass up.

Matt Suffal will be the first to tell you that after he was officially hired Thursday evening as Dickson athletic director and head football coach.

“It just brings more excitement now that it’s official,” Suffal said. “Now that I know I’m the next one to be able to take over this role. It excites me. I’m ready to meet these kids. I’m ready to get my feet over here and start working.”

The Dickson Public Schools Board of Education also showed that eagerness as they didn’t need executive session during Thursday’s special board meeting. Instead, it took just five minutes for all agenda items, including his hiring, to pass unanimously.  

“The opportunity to be an athletic director has always been important to me – have a hand in an entire school’s athletics,” Suffal said. “And I love being a head coach and being in charge of a program. I feel like this is the perfect place for me to do what I’ve done at some of my other stops. That’s to build and make them a competitive program again.”

Suffal will have his work cut out for him though.

The Comets haven’t made the postseason since 2018, but that was during their time in Class 2A. Dickson moved up to 3A last season and finished 1-6 in District 3A-2.

“Obviously, it’s an extremely tough district,” Suffal said. “One of the best in the state, if not the most competitive one in the state. Each week you have to bring it. And I love that type of challenge.”

And Suffal knows Dickson has what it takes to compete. He recently watched game film and knows the Comets have talent. However, he said they “need to get back to the fundamentals and do the little things right.”

That shouldn’t be too difficult to pull off though, as the area is known for a strong work ethic.

“Dickson has always been a hard-working, tough community,” Suffal said. “I’ve always kind of looked at this place as a place that I think I would really enjoy coaching and be able to build.”

Suffal’s past proves he shouldn’t have any problem doing that following head coaching stops at Vinita and Marietta.

However, his most recent assistant role at Ardmore is just as important. He gained valuable knowledge from Tigers athletic director and football coach Josh Newby and that bond won’t easily be forgotten.

“Coach Newby knows that I wanted to be a head coach,” Suffal said. “Even when he hired me as an assistant, he knew I wanted to get back in that role. He knows that I love Dickson and when this job opened up, we had a great talk. We’ll keep that between me and him, but he was excited for me. He’s just a great human being, a great man.”

With that relationship aside, Suffal is focused on the future. The Comets don’t open the 2021 campaign for at least four months, but he already has big plans in mind.

“(This job) means a lot to me,” Suffal said. “My wife graduated from here and I’m ready to bring pride back to Comet football. I’m ready to bring a passion. We want to be here for a while, and we want to do things right. We want to make this (program) a powerhouse.”