The Neosho Lady Wildcats have a new girls basketball head coach and he’s definitely no stranger to the Neosho girls basketball program.
On Monday night, it was announced that Matt Hixson has been named the new head coach for the 2018-19 season and he served the past four seasons as head assistant under former head coach Grant Berendt, who recently accepted the girls basketball head coach position at Mount Vernon.
“I’m so humbled by and yet so excited for this opportunity,” Hixson said on Twitter. “This is a ‘dream job’ and I couldn’t be more thankful for my time with this program. We have everything we need to do great things here. Can’t wait to get started!”
“Coach Hixson has been an integral part of our girls basketball program over the last four years,” Neosho athletic director Cori Reid said in a media release. “He has shown that he has a tremendous work ethic and dedication to Neosho Athletics and I’m confident he will continue to lead our program in a successful direction.”
Neosho secured a 61-42 record during Berendt’s tenure — the Lady Wildcats featured college bound players such as Chelsey Henry (Missouri Southern), Morgan Brodie (Pittsburg State), Brooke Stauffer (Westminster, Missouri Southern), Sydney Linny (Crowder), Makayla Hayes (Newman), and Caitlyn Jordon (Northwest Missouri) over that period — and Hixson stood in the middle of this success.
Hixson has been a history and government teacher at Neosho High since 2013 and he’s the sponsor of the Key Club. His coaching background also includes being the assistant coach for the girls soccer team (the Lady Wildcats earned their first-ever girls soccer district title last season), Neosho freshmen boys basketball, Neosho eighth grade girls basketball, and three years on the AAU travel ball circuit.
A lifelong Neosho resident, Hixson graduated from Neosho High in 1998 and he continued his educational career first at Crowder and then Missouri State. Hixson served five years in the United States Army and worked six years in law enforcement in various capacities.
Hixson took over for Berendt for one full game this past season, coaching the Lady Wildcats on a Friday night against rival McDonald County. Berendt missed one game following his fourth quarter ejection against conference and district rival Nixa.
The Neosho boys are still looking to fill their head coach position after Tony Branscum took the athletic director position at East Newton.