Potential basketball players at North Florida Christian School can no longer hide. The incoming Dean of Students will also be the next Eagles boys basketball coach.
The school announced this week Matt Ruta will return to Florida to coach the team. Ruta has won 40 games coaching at Sherwood Christian Academy in Albany, Ga. the past two years.
More than 40 people applied for the position, but Ruta was the only candidate who was interviewed said NFC athletic director Mike Posey. The school attempted to hire Ruta following the 2009 season, but he decided to remain in Albany, where he took his Eagles to an appearance in the Class AA quarterfinals.
"We've had our girls team that has been strong over the years," Posey said. "We feel like we can compete in boys. We feel like we need to work at it. Like any sport, it takes a lot of commitment. I think Coach Ruta will do a good job. We're competing against some good teams in our district."
If NFC is to overtake Maclay and Jefferson County in District 4-2A this winter, Ruta said it will start with a summer conditioning program and the implementation of his system."I want to develop young men," Ruta said. "We're going to worry about character first and winning games second. But, I don't want to downplay the winning part. If you develop young men, and do it the right way, then you will win. The winning will follow the character development."