Matthew Yates began his high school teaching and basketball career at Frankfort in 1999. So the former Danville boys basketball coach said it “felt like coming home,” when he officially accepted the same job at Frankfort on Tuesday after four years at Danville.
“There’s a big familiarity there for me,”¿Yates said. “There’s a lot of people you know and still love you and it feels warm.”
The thing that makes Yates feel worse abut leaving is the timing of his decision so close to the start of the school year.
“I’m not happy about the timing, The administrators are great. My bosses did a good job, and I would like it to be different because it puts them in a tough position,”¿Yates said. “I didn’t want to do that to them.”
But Yates feels he is leaving the program in good shape for whoever Danville hires.
“I think there’s a group of kids that believed in the system we were running and were looking forward to this year,” he said. “Whoever gets the job will be pleased. The guys are knowledgeable about basketball.
“It took a while to win because of their (lack of) knowledge of basketball. They didn’t get the knowledge they needed. There was not a real solid foundation (in youth basketball). Over time, the kids were able to get it. They’ve got it now and the next coach will for sure be successful for the next two years.”
Yates said he wasn’t necessarily looking to leave, but when Tony Wise left to be come coach at Montgomery County, Yates knew this was a great opportunity.
“I think as a coach, you’re always thinking in your mind if I’m ready if an opportunity comes along,” he said.
Yates took over a Danville program which had won five games the previous season. He went 8-21 his first season and had two-straight 12-win years before going 19-10 last season. The Admirals won the 45th District title last year, and went to the semifinals of the All “A”¿Classic for the first time. He leaves Danville with a 51-61 record.
At Frankfort, Yates said he believes he’ll get the community support he never felt the basketball team got at Danville.
“I think I definitely will,” said Yates, who admitted that was a factor in his decision. “Absolutely, the biggest factor. And my wife (who worked in the Danville school system), took a job in Lexington and my daughter was going to go to school in Lexington, so we were going to move anyway and I was going to make the drive to Danville.
“When this situation came up, it was kind of a clean slate for all of us.”