Wildcats pick young Shriver as cross country coach

January 30, 2013|By ANDREW MASON |
  • Matt Shriver
Matt Shriver

Like father, like son: Matt Shriver will keep things running.

Shriver, 23, was named Williamsport High School’s new head cross country coach Wednesday. He is the oldest son of longtime Smithsburg track and cross country coach Ray Shriver.

“Hopefully I can be as successful as he’s been. He’s had a big impact in the area,” Matt Shriver said. “A lot of what I know I learned from him.”

Shriver takes over for Randy Buchman, who was at the helm of the Williamsport cross country program for 13 years.

Buchman also was successful, to say the least. His boys teams won seven Washington County titles, including the last five straight, and were Maryland Class 2A state runners-up each of the last two seasons. His girls teams won four county titles and three state championships.

“At Williamsport, there definitely is a tradition of excellence in the running program, and Randy was a huge part of that,” Shriver said. “Hopefully we can continue some of that success. ... We have talent at this school, that’s for sure.”

All five of Buchman’s sons ran cross country at Williamsport, and he had the opportunity to coach four of them. After his youngest son, Caleb, now a senior, completed his final high school cross country season last fall, Buchman said it was his last season as well.

“It was fun, one of the greatest experiences of my life, but I just felt like I’d done it long enough,” said Buchman, 58. “But I’ll miss it. It’s a great sport. And it was a great experience to be able to connect to my boys through their circle of friends. They’ve all sort of become my kids, too.”

Ray Shriver coached all three of his sons at Smithsburg.

Matt Shriver, a 2007 Smithsburg graduate, ran cross country and indoor track for his dad and also played baseball for the Leopards. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 2011 and now works as a math teacher at Williamsport High School. The last two fall seasons, he was his father’s assistant coach at Smithsburg.

Todd Ullery, the athletic director at Williamsport, said he’s confident that Matt Shriver is the right man for the job.

“He’s energetic and passionate about running and obviously has some background and knowledge, and he has his dad as a resource,” Ullery said. “And the other piece is that he likes kids and connects to kids, and he’s right here in the building. I think he’ll continue Randy’s tradition of having large teams and being competitive.”

Shriver also will be an assistant varsity baseball coach at Williamsport, beginning this spring.

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