September | Blue KC Coaches with Character
Matt Schweitzer, Baseball Coach
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and the “C” You in the Major Leagues Foundation (CYITML) have announced Staley High School assistant baseball coach Matt Schweitzer as the September Blue Blue KC Coaches with Character honoree.
“Some of my heroes are teachers, and it takes someone with an incredible heart to work with students with special needs,” said Royals Vice-President/General Manager and CYITML Founder/Executive Director Dayton Moore. “Coach Schweitzer is a talented pitching coach at Staley, but his work as a teacher and volunteer with Special Olympics, not to mention his commitment to his own family, help set him apart. It’s a privilege to select him as our September honoree.”
Selected from nominations submitted by fans, with one honoree announced each month throughout the 2019 MLB season, each Blue KC Coaches with Character honoree threw out the first pitch at a Royals home game, watched pregame batting practice, received four game tickets, enjoyed dinner in the Royals Diamond Club and visited the Royals Radio Network to record an on-air interview. Schweitzer was honored at the September 13th game.
“Coach Schweitzer is setting a powerful positive example for the student-athletes at Staley High School,” said Christina Lively, Department Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Blue KC. “Through his own playing career, he learned not only the skills of the game, but also what it takes to be a great coach. We’re proud to recognize him as a Blue KC Coach with Character.”
Competing collegiately at Olivet Nazarene University, Schweitzer played 11 professional seasons at the independent and minor league levels before pursuing a career in education. Schweitzer met Staley head baseball coach Dave Wilson at the end of his playing career and was then brought on to help Wilson coach when he began his career with the North Kansas City School District. Schweitzer now works every year to teach athletic skills to his athletes while also using his role as a coach to help them learn valuable life lessons.
“Sports begin to instill into players the tools needed to be successful in life, whether in sports or other careers,” said Schweitzer, who has helped the Staley baseball team to three top-5 state finishes since 2013 and the softball team to a third-place finish in 2017. “The life lessons I try to instill in my athletes is work ethic, responsibility, being a team player, and overcoming adversity. It is not just about developing the player but developing them as a person with great character and integrity. And it is nice to know you have a hand in laying those foundations.”
In addition to working with student-athletes at Staley, Schweitzer combines his skills as a special education teacher and baseball coach to serve as a volunteer coach with the Special Olympics.
“The Special Olympians are so much fun to be with,” said Schweitzer. “To share my knowledge to help these athletes learn the game and see the progress and smiles on their faces from success—how do you ever turn that down? It has been a tremendous opportunity to be a part of.”
Nominated for the Blue KC Coaches with Character honor by Christopher Daniels, the parent of a Staley High School student, Schweitzer has earned a reputation as a positive role model and influence on the Falcon student body.
“Matt Schweitzer is man of honor and integrity,” said Daniels. “He is an excellent person, father, high school special education teacher, baseball coach and Special Olympics coach. When he is not taking care of his twin sons, meeting the needs of his students at Staley High School, or coaching a MLB Amateur Draft selection, he volunteers his time to coach Special Olympics. Each of the above listed activities is done with passion and commitment.”
In addition to the game-day benefits, each Blue KC Coaches with Character honoree also will be interviewed on 610 Sports Radio, receive a VIP gift package from Blue KC and CYITML and will be invited to meet Dayton Moore at an event in September at Kauffman Stadium. Additionally, Blue KC will make a $2,000 donation to CYITML in honor of each honoree.
Although Schweitzer is the final selection for the 2019 season, to nominate an amateur coach from the KC area for Blue KC Coaches with Character in 2020 are encouraged to visit CYouInTheMajorLeagues.org/bluekc.