Getting to know the new Freshman Boys Basketball Coach Matt Gessner


(Courtesy of the Fort Thomas Independent Schools website)

Photo of the new Freshman Boys Basketball Coach Matt Gessner.

     “I have always been around the game of basketball. When my days of playing were over, I had a chance to coach high school basketball for ten years,” said Woodfill Physical Education Teacher and new Highlands High School Head Freshman Coach Matt Gessner.

     With the HHS freshman boys basketball season already taking way with their new head coach, they ended up with a win in their first game of the season, ending with a score of 68 to 29 over Walton Verona High School. 

     Gessner has been a part of the Fort Thomas community for 20 years, originally being from Kenton and Boone County. Gessner started coaching at his high school, Alma Mater St. Henry High School. Along with this, Gessner was on the FTIS staff last year during the 2020-2021 school year, where COVID-19 impacted sports and education alike. 

     Once his kids started to play youth sports, Gessner took a step away from high school basketball and coached his kids’ teams for a little while. 

     After coaching his kids he thought his high school coaching days were over, then, Varsity Head Coach Kevin Listerman came in 2018, saying that he had an assistant coaching spot.

     “Since playing with him in high school I knew that he had the knowledge and the disposition that would be a good fit with the program,” said Listerman.

     Excited for this new beginning, Gessner hopped on the spot immediately. 

     “I love the passion the coaching staff has for the game and their players. It makes it so much fun to be around.” 

     It is evident in Gessner’s connection with his players from their first win against Walton Verona. 

     “He is also a great teacher first and foremost of the game. He has a great demeanor with the kids and how he coaches the game and remains calm,” said Listerman.  

     Gessner is already looking ahead to the season. 

     “My goal for every team that I have ever coached is to prepare them for a 9th Region Varsity Championship.  Every decision we make at the freshman level is to prepare them for the next level. Yes, it sure would be fun to win every game this season, but it’s not the end goal.  Winning at the varsity level two-three years from now is the end goal for this freshman team,” said Gessner.