Frazee grad will build program from the ground up
By Barbie Porter
Matt Bauer will be building a college softball program in Missouri next year.
The head coach of the Frazee High School softball team learned of the opportunity, but it seemed like a long shot. Still, Bauer stepped up to the plate and swung for the fences.
Moberly Area Community College Athletic Director Patrick Smith recalled the interview conducted over the internet. Bauer’s knowledge of the game impressed him, and his passion for coaching the sport was undeniable.
“He had a good vision for what he wanted the program to be,” Smith said. “In the end, we got off the interview with him and looked at each other. We were hoping he would take the job.”
Smith, who has held the athletic director position at the college for a number of years, apologized to the Hornets for taking a stellar head coach. At the same time, he said he is excited to welcome Bauer aboard the Greyhound team.
Bauer will begin his position with recruiting to get the team ready to play its first season in 2022-2023.
“Starting a softball and baseball program at the college had been in the works for nine years,” Bauer said.
When considering creating a foundation for the program, Bauer intends to provide a rich culture to build a foundation to where athletes flourish. He looks forward to working with softball players who are dedicated to the sport year round and on a full-time basis. However, that is only one aspect of the program he wants to build.
Personal growth of his players is also paramount to him. Providing guidance to build an individual’s character will last longer than any athletic career, he explained.
The Moberly, Mo., Grayhounds are a junior college, and in that system there are three divisions. The softball team will start with a D-2 ranking with an average student body enrollment between 5,000 and 6,000.
Over the past two years, Bauer has been working on his master’s degree. After graduating in June, he set his focus on becoming an athletic director at a collegiate level. He thought a head coaching position was a far reach, but is now glad he stretched his expectations.
The elated, giddiness in Bauer’s voice dropped, “It’s bittersweet. I put a lot of time in the (Hornet) program and all the athletes are my kids. So, to leave is hard. But, (coaching college) it is a dream come true.”
He added leaving the program in the capable hands of its coaching staff and athletic leadership in the senior members of the team has “made it easier.” The welcoming from his future home has also settled nerves as he enters the next chapter of life.
As head coach, Bauer will have 24 scholarships to help bring talent to his program. Of the 24, 12 are full ride scholarships.
While Bauer and his wife Joyce are heading to warmer winters, they will visit the Frazee area in the summer months, he said.
The 1992 Frazee High School graduate added Frazee will always be home.