Greenbrier East Spartans volleyball head coach Matt Sauvage has become a household name in the sport’s community of Greenbrier County. He has led many successful teams during his 19-year career including last year’s that set school records.
He set a personal milestone last week with his 500th career victory as head coach when the Spartans defeated Pikeview.
What started as an assistant coach position for three years before being named the head man in 2005, Sauvage admittedly had no idea where his career would go from that point.
“I didn’t know if I would be around this long when I started,” Sauvage said. “I never really looked past each year.”
Sauvage was always a knowledgeable man of the sport all those years ago, but when asked how he has developed from his first-ever win until now, he knew exactly what to say.
“Understanding of the game from one to 500. My knowledge of the game and how to coach the game has grown unbelievably,” Sauvage exclaimed.
Winning 500 games takes a lot of focus and hard work, but rarely wanting to take credit for himself, Sauvage credits his players.
“Five hundred kind of snuck up on me. I have had a ton of awesome young ladies and they are the ones that got to 500. I was just blessed to be the recipient of their success,” Sauvage stated.
Coaching is a rewarding yet challenging process, but Sauvage says gaining a second family helps with all the time spent away from his first.
“The time away from my family,” Sauvage said when asked of the biggest challenge. But with that being said, the biggest reward is the family that I have added through the 19 years. ‘GEVB equals Family’ is not just a cliche, it truly is family.”
Not to be outdone by his personal record, Sauvage believes his team this year has a chance to continue to pile up wins and make a nice run over the next few weeks.
“Mentally, they are strong. This team is focused on becoming the best they can on and off the court. This is a special group of young ladies and the sky is the limit for them,” Sauvage said of his current squad.
When asked if he could see 500 more wins during his tenure, Sauvage never actually shut the door on the thought.
“I will stay around until God opens another door. It would be very difficult to leave as it has become part of who I am.”
“GEVB has become part of me. I can’t thank God enough for the players, parents, administration, coaches and fans that he’s put in my life. God has blessed me,” Sauvage concluded sincerely.