Sweeney steps down as Foothill High football coach

Time was right to retire from gridiron sidelines, longtime coach says

Saying it was just time, Foothill High School football coach Matt Sweeney stepped down Tuesday after 31 years of coaching on the gridiron.

"I'm in a place where I feel I just don't have the energy to keep giving to the program," Sweeney said. "I was getting to the point where I was thinking about cutting corners and that's not fair to the guys."

Being a coach as successful as Sweeney is not a 9-to-5 job. During the season, following Friday night games, Sweeney was back in his office at Foothill watching film at 4:30 a.m.

"I just wanted to give us the best chance to win," he said.

Sweeney coached Foothill to a 7-3 regular season in 2017. The Falcons earned an opening-round win over James Logan in the North Coast Section tournament before their season came to an end with a second-round loss to San Leandro.

Sweeney had the feeling he was close to stepping down roughly eight years ago, but it wasn't until about midway through this season where the feeling became so strong that he needed to act on it.

"I told my wife I wanted to wait until the holidays were over to see if I felt any different," Sweeney said. "I have to be honest, this might have been the most relaxed holidays I have ever had because I knew it was time to step down."

It was also during the holidays that Sweeney's wife Trish knew he was serious.

"I told Trish I wanted my own set of golf clubs for Christmas," Sweeney said with a laugh. "I have never had my own set before, so we went out and got them. She looked at me and said, 'Now I know you are stepping down.'"

Sweeney also coaches the Foothill softball team and plans to remain in that position going forward. The Falcons (26-4) won the NCS championship last season.


8 people like this
Posted by Steve Dukleth
a resident of Val Vista
on Jan 9, 2018 at 11:26 am

Cheers to Coach Sweeney!
Our family has been involved with the Foothill High School Falcons Football since the school year began in 2004. Our last son graduated in 2016 and we have continued to support FHS Football after each of our sons have graduated, as it has been such an awesome experience! I know Coach Sweeney was a big part of our love of the game and love for the Falcons!

We had a magical season in 2015, ending in early December 2015, as I called it the undefeated season when we finally lost in the NCS Championship Game against DLS.

Coach Sweeney has probably had many undefeated teams over the years, but we were proud to have been involved with that team, as it culminated an awesome end to our son's Senior Season and final football game of his "football career". Coach Sweeney was the architect of that team, and all of the accolades go to Coach Sweeney, as well as the coaches & the kids!

Coach, you will be missed on the sidelines, however you will always be in our hearts & memories. For me, it seems to be the final picture of the kids hoisting you up on their shoulders after that 2015 season just a couple of years ago, with a smile on your face as big as ever!

Cheers to you Coach Sweeney, for your many years of dedication to the FHS Falcons Football program, with so much appreciation from the Dukleth Family!

3 people like this
Posted by Robert Plummer
a resident of Val Vista
on Jan 9, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Mr Matt Sweeney , foothill football will miss you ! Great coach .

7 people like this
Posted by JP Lynch
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Jan 9, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Coach Sweeney,

Take a bow and run to your next journey ( golf course) and never worry about looking back because it's really evident you gave FHS all you had.
According to the #'s,the 31 years, you have impacted over 1000 young minds on the field and another 1000 young minds in the classroom. Most of us raise 3- 4 children and if we are lucky impact another 8-10 young minds by demonstrating the things you gave.

First, Work Ethic,2nd Building Strengths, Identifying weakness's 3rd, Be a Team Player and work successfully with others. 4th, Be Humble and set the bar high enough so that you grow.
You did all of these things well with a good grade in the high quartiles, some say B some say A, doesn't matter as long as you gave all you had and you did!

It has been said that "the purpose of life is to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all"
Have a great time of the greens, and thank you for impacting our kids
Good job Coach.

The Lynch Family

19 people like this
Posted by Bob Ladouceur
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 9, 2018 at 3:49 pm

Congratulations on a great career. Your teams were always tough, well prepared. You've won more game you had no business winning than any coach I've coached against. Well done.

1 person likes this
Posted by Brian Goodell
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jan 9, 2018 at 4:35 pm

Congrats to you Coach Sweeney. I was fortunate to play for you and learn not only football but how to be a man and be dedicated and disciplined. I teach my kids today "Do your Job" DYJ. The little things in life are the most important. You spoke with tenacity and we listened and we WON. Back to Back NCS 93 and 94. I played for a few well known coaches in college and you could coach with the best of them.

Battle on 3

Cheers Goody #24

Like this comment
Posted by Solomon Floyd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2018 at 8:35 pm

Coach Sweeney is the BEST...great football mind and truly cares for his players. Thanks for the good times and great memories...

1 person likes this
Posted by Rich Blair
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 9, 2018 at 9:49 pm

Coach, Thank you for your dedication to the sport and more importantly to the players. You taught me true sportsmanship and pushing my limits to expose my full potential. One thing that I will never forget and carried with me all these years was to not be afraid to admit fault. Own my mistakes and move on. Very handy life lesson. I am just one of thousands of young men positively impacted by your coaching and teaching. Be proud of this accomplishment.
Rich Blair
Class of 88

1 person likes this
Posted by Craig Bergman
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 10, 2018 at 9:00 am

Coach Sweeney is one of the finest football coaches I’ve ever known. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of the battles we have had in the field. No matter the outcome, we would always talk the next day and congratulate each other. Proud to call him a friend. Good luck Matt with everything, you’ve earned a nice break.

Like this comment
Posted by Bill Spain
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2018 at 10:57 am

Congratulations Coach--you have been such a great influence on my daughter and and our family. We had the privilege and honor of playing for you on the softball team. Through your leadership we learned what it means to invest in yourself and play to your potential and beyond. It is the life lessons taught on the field of play that continue with us as we proceed through life. We are so pleased to have taken that journey with you.
I wish you all the success and best for you and your family as you move towards your next chapter in life.
See you on the softball field--and Go Falcons!

Like this comment
Posted by Dave McMorrow
a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 16, 2018 at 9:44 am

Congrats Matt. Respect!

Like this comment
Posted by Chris Kearns
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 27, 2018 at 4:12 pm

Congrats Swiss,

I can honestly say that after spending four years together at Amador, there was not a student I had greater respect for than you. The fact that you found your true love and calling as a coach is a real blessing. I have followed your career from quite a distance through occasional news articles and updates from my parents, who still in Pleasanton Valley.

I'm very proud to call you a friend and appreciative of the fact that your were such a motivational force for so many young men and women throughout the years. Your great success is a testament to your character and commitment. Your impact will be felt for generations through the players you coached and students you taught.

Enjoy your first fall vacation. If you ever come east I'll take you fishing.

From Charlotte, NC

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Couples: It's Normal to Get Defensive . . . Then What?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,139 views

Candidates find campaigning hard work, expensive
By Jeb Bing | 2 comments | 472 views