Ellis hired from Anna to be Sherman boys soccer coach

Jason Della Rosa
Herald Democrat

For the first time in decades, there has been a change with who's in charge of the Sherman boys soccer program.

The choice by the Sherman ISD is Anna head coach Matt Ellis to take over after Chico Aleman decided to retire.

Aleman had been the head coach in total for 37 seasons with the 1999 campaign — when he took a sabbatical to earn his master's degree — the only year he hasn't been in charge since 1985. Aleman, who played on the first SHS soccer teams in the late 70s, won more than 225 matches and made 17 playoff appearances, including region quarterfinal berths twice in his tenure, getting there when Clay Cox was in charge in 1999 during Aleman’s sabbatical and then when he returned for the 2000 season.

“I know this is where I needed and wanted to continue my career. It is an honor to follow Coach Aleman and build upon the foundation he has laid with this soccer program,” Ellis said. “There is plenty of talent in this locker room, and I know they are hungry for success."

After two straight playoff berths, including a share of the District 10-5A title during the 2020 COVID-19 halted season, the Bearcats went 4-15-3 overall and 2-11-1 in district play this spring after 18 of the 22 players from the prior season’s roster graduated.

"I look forward to getting the team on the field and creating that chemistry that will help us get to the next level. Our 21-22 season will begin with the expectation of being a playoff team year in and year out and competing for district titles," Ellis said. "That mindset is the standard for every player and coach in the Bearcat soccer program.”

Ellis, who becomes just the fourth head coach in Sherman soccer history, was Anna's head coach for the past nine seasons, making the Class 4A playoffs seven times with region quarterfinal appearances in 2017 and 2018, winning a district title in 2019 and being named district Coach of the Year in 2019 and 2020.

Before taking over at Anna, Ellis led Carrollton Newman Smith in 2013, winning a district title and and being named district Coach of the Year.

He was an assistant coach at McKinney High School, his alma mater, before getting the Newman Smith job and was the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches Region 2 Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2011 and 2012.

“We’re excited to have Coach Ellis join our Sherman ISD family and coaching staff,” Sherman athletic director Bob Jones said. “His proven success on the field demonstrates his ability to build a successful program which happens when you are intentional about fostering relationships with students off the field. We look forward to coach Ellis enhancing our soccer program and working with our student-athletes to help them become successful young men.”

Ellis’ club soccer experience includes time with FC Dallas Youth Soccer Club, Sting Soccer Club and Dallas Texans Soccer Club. His credentials also include a USSF National “D” Coaching License.