Coaching Tips from NCAA National Champion Matt Lewis

We talk with Matt Lewis, head coach of the Men's Basketball team at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Last season, Coach Lewis guided UW-Oshkosh to its most successful season in the program's 121-year history. Lewis and the Titans capped off the campaign with a 96-82 victory over Swarthmore College (Pa.) in the national championship game. He talks to us about that experience, his favorite drills and exercises that got his team to that pinnacle, some background on the recruiting process, and much more.

Tristan: All right, welcome in everyone to the Hustle With Us podcast. I'm your host, Tristan Plunket, sitting here with you today and every day. To my right, Mr. Craig Musheno. Craig, how we doing today?

Craig: All good Tristan.

Tristan: Fantastic. Craig you know as well as I do, we just got off the line here with the head coach, Matt Lewis. He's the head coach at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. They're actually the current Division 3 National Champions. He, as part of the coaching staff took them to their first national title appearance last year, and finished the job this year with that victory. Craig, what did you think of the interview?

Craig: Yeah, Coach Lewis was fun to talk to man. I think his perspective as a college coach was great. But one thing that I also really enjoyed was that Coach Lewis is not afraid to get technical around skills development. You know, he was talking with us about how he practices with his team, how he encourages his players to use the slide step versus a jump stop. Or slide stop versus a jump stop, and then actually kind of walked us through what a training and development exercise would look like in his practices. So it was great getting technical with him.

We invest a lot of time in just shooting. You know, it doesn't matter what offense you run. If you can shoot the basketball, you can be fairly efficient and good on the offensive end. So, we spend a ton of time just shooting the rock.

Tristan: Absolutely, that's exactly what we're looking for here on this podcast. And he also gives us some great tidbits in terms of just playing at the next level. If you're a young athlete playing in high school let's say, sophomore, junior, wondering, "Where am I going to play at the next level? Am I going to play at the next level?" Definitely get some great insight there. So without further ado, let's just get right into it. Here we go, our interview with Head Coach Matt Lewis, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. All right, welcome in here everyone. We have a special coach with us, on the line, with us right now. He's actually the current D3 National Champion. It's Coach Matt Lewis of University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Coach, how we doing tonight?

Matt Lewis cuts down the net after winning the NCAA D3 National Championship in 2019.  Credit: Liz Smith, UW Oshkosh Today.

Matt Lewis cuts down the net after winning the NCAA D3 National Championship in 2019.

Credit: Liz Smith, UW Oshkosh Today.

Matt Lewis: I'm doing awesome. I'm still riding pretty high from the championship so it's been a fun month for sure.

Tristan: I'd say so.

Craig: Yeah congrats.

Tristan: So how long does that last? Are you already looking in to the next season? Are you still ... You still got that hangover going? How we feeling?

Matt Lewis: We're definitely looking towards next season but we're trying to enjoy the last one as long as we can. I keep telling people, "I'm going to ride on cloud 9 as long as I can," but we're obviously competitors and we're not going to lose focus on the future either.

Tristan: Sure, absolutely. So now, I think, a big factor for you this year was returning a ton of starters to your line-up. Is this going to be the same case for you next year, come 2020? Or is it going to be kind of a revamp of the strategy here, in terms of what the skillsets of the guys that they're giving you?

Matt Lewis: Sure. Yeah we've got three starters coming back. Or three guys we think will start. They established themselves this year, but each year guys have to compete and earn their minutes again. That's something that's crucial in any good program, is just guys that are competing amongst each other. We've got several bench players from this year that are coming back next year, and we've got a number of guys that improved throughout this year. And some are through their sophomore year of college now, and maybe just haven't earned a ton of time on the floor, but they've continued to get better. So it's exciting going into next year. You know, we've got, I think, a lot of guys that can play. Some guys are going to have to step up and fill new roles but it should be another fun year for us.

Tristan: I'd say so. Yeah and I think that definitely having just the wherewithal, the recognition of what the program is all about, with the players currently on the roster is where to start. So let's talk about your start a little bit here. Talk to us about how you ... Your start into coaching at the D3 level, at the college level. And what was that transition like? Did you have any stops before the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh? Tell us about what your process was like.

Matt Lewis: Sure. I grew up in a small town in Illinois and I realized that I wanted to play college basketball but I was also self aware enough to know that I wasn't going play at a high level. So I kind of realized that if I ever wanted to get a long career in basketball that coaching was probably the route I had to go. So I went into college basketball and was fortunate enough to play at a Division 3 school. But while I was going through that, that college playing experience, I was trying to position myself to be ready to coach collegiately. Right out of college I did volunteer opportunity at the Citadel. I was there for about two weeks in Charleston, South Carolina. And that coaching staff took a new position at Tulane University in New Orleans. So I moved there and continued to volunteer. I didn't have a job, so I left and I took a job that paid a little bit at Rhodes College in Memphis Tennessee. I was there for about two months, and then they offered me a full-time spot back at Tulane. So I moved back to New Orleans and I worked there for two years. So I got to learn the Division 1 level, and ultimately what I figured out after that was that I was Division 3 guy. For a variety of reasons, but that was who was, and who I am. So after two years of doing that I moved to Wisconsin, and really just to tried to hunt and find the best Division 3 possibility. And luck of the draw, where I moved to in Wisconsin was 15 minutes from Oshkosh, and I had a common connection to this new coach that had been hired at UW Oshkosh. He offered me a job. That was seven years ago. So I spent six years as the assistant, and about this time last year, the previous head coach got a new job. And I was fortunate enough to take over as the head coach this past year.

UW Oshkosh Head Coach Matt Lewis crouches during a game in 2019.  Credit: Lydia Sanchez, The Advance Titan

UW Oshkosh Head Coach Matt Lewis crouches during a game in 2019.

Credit: Lydia Sanchez, The Advance Titan

Craig: Nice. So I wanted to go back a little bit to that era that you referred to as volunteer experience. You know, obviously you're really dedicated to making this happen. You had that vision of what was to come. How did you make that call to be what you referred to as a volunteer, and join that staff?

Matt Lewis: Yeah, so I had worked the summer prior to graduating college, I'd gone down and I'd worked basketball camps at the Citadel, and a number of other places that summer. It was advice I had received from a few different people that were coaching in college, was just go on the camp circuit and make some connections. So that summer I made a connection with a guy who happened to be an alum from the college that I was playing for. And so that kind of got me a foot in the door, and he goes, "Next spring come on down and volunteer with us. We'll call it a coaching internship. We'll get you some credits." And so I said, "Heck yeah. Let's do this." And so I moved down there and I slept on the team room coach and I was like, "If I'm going to get in, this is how I'm going to have to do it." And I was just fired up. I was living out of a suitcase. Sleeping on a coach. The Citadel is a military school and so those guys are waking up at the crack of dawn, and they're moving around the team room at 6AM, and I'm just like, "What the heck is going on?" It was an awesome experience, and then after a few weeks of that I was fortunate to, they're like, "Hey, we're moving to New Orleans." I said, "Well what am I going to do?" You know, I had no idea. And the Assistant Coach goes, "Well I guess pack up your stuff and come with us." Then I lived on a hotel room floor for about a month and a half. And then they moved in to kind of some temporary housing while they were moving their families to New Orleans. So I slept on the floor of one of the places they were living. And that's how I spent about the first three months after graduation. So it was a fun experience for sure.

Tristan: It sounds like paying your dues sort of played a part here, and I'm sure your players sort of take the same mindset. Or I'm sure you instill that in them. Now you mentioned that your former head coach had left mid-season last year, you took over the reigns, you folks made it to the first National Championship appearance. And then this year I believe, you folks won it all. Now what's the future there at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh? Are we looking to stick around? Or, what's the latest?

Matt Lewis: So our head coach, he left right after the season last year. He left mid April, and I took over at that point. And this year we had an incredible year. It was the best year in our schools history for men's basketball. So I was very fortunate to be a part of it and get to coach the guys that we had this year. I'm going through the process right now. I was technically the interim coach all year. So I'm going through the search process. It's a state system, and there are a lot of guidelines that you have to follow. So we're going through that and I'm hopeful that that will go the way I want it to. My vision is to be at Oshkosh for a lot of years. The reason I moved back to Wisconsin, actually moving to Wisconsin. I'd never lived here. But my family, mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law, nieces, everybody had moved to Wisconsin prior to me. So it was my kind of new home. And so I moved up here, and then my fiance now lives up here with me. We bought a house, we're getting married in September. So this has become home for us up here in Wisconsin. So hopefully I'm able to stay here for a lot of years.

Craig: That's great. Very nice, really building something there. So let's transition into skills development. Here at Hustle, that's what we're all about. We've got the app that helps players learn drills, helps coaches learn new ideas, and just a lot of really great resources for coaches. But let's talk about, you know, how do you get your team ready? Say it's the preseason, or the beginning of the season. What are some of the drills that you do at the beginning of the season to get your teams ready to play?

Coach Lewis incorporates skills development in every practice, particularly in the post-season.  Credit: Chris Barriere, NBC 26 Green Bay

Coach Lewis incorporates skills development in every practice, particularly in the post-season.

Credit: Chris Barriere, NBC 26 Green Bay

Matt Lewis: So I'd say we're kind of in a unique position at Division 3 where we don't get the contact until practice starts. And so we've got to be very thoughtful, or mindful, of how we use our practice time once that October 15, our start date hits. So we've put a lot of thought into just how we're going to be the most efficient we could be in a practice setting. One thing that I think we do a good job of is the skill development piece during practice. And sometimes at Division 3 the coaches just want to hop right into the x's and o's, and what we're going to do on the offense and defense, and all that. And our mindset is to, let's continue to invest in our players skill, so that come February, March we've continued to grow over the course of the season. I think some of the best things that we do revolve just around shooting and finishing. We spend a ton of time finishing around the basket. Every position point guard through post. We do something called finishing school. And I did not come up with our progression, I stole it from the coach that I worked for at Tulane. But it's a really good progression of ... There's three, four, kind of foundation drills that we work off of. A lot of our finishing moves are off of a stride stop rather than a jump stop, and I think that really helps guys at the college level. Just come to balance and give them a few more options when it comes to finishing around the basket. You know sometimes when you just jump stop you don't have as many options. It's tougher to pivot off of a jump stop, I think. And sometimes you just come to an awkward position to even pass from. So we really focus a lot on the stride stop in our finishing. And we do it from an elbow, we do it from kind of a mid-wing. We do it from right in front of the rim. You know? So we spend a lot of time on that. I'd say three, four, days a week we're spending 8 to 10 minutes a day on finishing the basketball.

Craig: That's great.

Matt Lewis: And then we invest a lot of time in just shooting. You know, it doesn't matter what offense you run. If you can shoot the basketball, you can be fairly efficient and good on the offensive end. So, we spend a ton of time just shooting the rock.

Craig: Nice. Great, no that's really good. What about, kind of as you're working through the season, or say deciding to make adjustments based on what the team is providing to you, or even say after a loss; how do you make those adjustments based on what you see? Especially when it come to drills and skill development?

Matt Lewis: I'm fortunate to have a really good coaching staff around me. We've got some assistants that are really, really good. So what they'll do is ... You know I'll watch a game and focus more on big concepts, or x's and o's, and our defense, and prepare for the next team. And our assistants will dive in and they'll take some time and just look at what skills are guys need to continue to develop over the course of a season. And they'll pull ... We've got access to Synergy which is awesome. And so they can pull out clips, so if we think Eric needs to continue to get better shooting the basketball. So they'll pull out different clips of the shots that he has taken. Here's the one's he's made. Here are the one's he's consistently missing. And then they'll take those guys into the gym outside of practice, and they'll spend 20 to 30 extra minutes focused on those specific skills. Because as the season goes everybody tries to shorten practices, and we do as well. We got to be mindful of guys' legs and their stamina over the course of the year, so we want to be really focused on what we're doing in that practice time. So we really encourage guys to get in the gym extra, outside of practice which I think is easier at the college level because you're not always in class, like you're dealing with at the high school, and the middle school level.

Tristan: Sure, yeah definitely. You answered my question there before I even got a chance to ask it, the, "How does that strategy change as you progress throughout the season." Definitely backing off a little bit on the practice time, and maybe a little more in the film room sounds like could be the recipe there just to save the legs of those folks out there. So let me ask you this. Now let's say you are mid-season, you do recognize a change that needs to be implemented on the team. Tell us the process there, in terms of how to implement that change. Whether it's taking those players aside and working individually with coaches. And tell us about trying to balance that, in terms of developing one players skill set versus the teams' skillset.

Matt Lewis: Yeah it's ... Obviously it could be multifaceted there, you know depending on the change that you're trying to make. Is it ... Are you trying to continue to get one player better? Or is there a specific skill that the entire team needs to get better at? So you've just got to be, again, thoughtful as to how you're going to approach it. If it's one player sometimes that's easier because you can just hone in for 20-30 minutes extra, each day, and try and get better. You know, one guy shocked this year. We were really focused on just improving his shot throughout the season, and we were ... Early in the year it was trying to clean up his off-hand. Later in the year we were really focused on balance and his feet. And then continuing to add the ability to shoot off the move. So with that guy it was more of an individualized approach, and it was a lot of our assistant coach, that's got a great feel for how to rebuild shots, he was really working with that guy on a one-on-one basis. If it's an overall skillset then we need to sit down and we need to watch film as a group, and you know, one of the big things is passing the basketball. We're turning the ball over too much when we drive baseline. We're leaving our feet. We're not coming to a stride stop and pivoting. So we point that out in film, as a group. And then we go right to the court and we do a couple drills that emphasize that, that day. And then we try to point it out when we do it well. We film practice every day. And so if we see it happen in practice and we like it, then we can pull that clip out and show it the next day before practice and re-emphasize us doing that skill the correct way. And usually if you do it the correct way, it will at least result in something positive. So that's kind of two different approaches there, whether it's individual, or a group thing.

Tristan: Sure. So you bring up that term again, stride stop, in your response there. Talk to us a little bit about just the technical aspect of it. Stride stop versus the jump stop. And what exactly are you trying to obtain from that stride stop in your own strategy there? Are you looking to pass it off? Are you looking to have your guy finish that drive off? Is it all situational? Tell us a little bit about that in-game mindset that you want your players to have when performing these technical aspects of the game.

Matt Lewis: Sure. So for us stride stop, you're attacking, and most coaches are familiar with it. You know, you're attacking to your right hand, and your right foot's going to be the first one to hit the floor. And then your left foot is going to kind of extend out in front of you, and you're going to come to a balanced stop. And when you do that, you're driving right lane line to your right hand, your feet are going to essentially be parallel to the lane line. So your shoulders are going to be parallel to the sideline. And I think what that does is it will allow a smaller player to protect the basketball and keep it on their back shoulder. Typically a defender is going to fight to get to the inside shoulder, or the inside hip, and so you're able to keep a defender away from the basketball. And then from there we're able to practice, starting just with our outside hand. So if you're driving to your right and you come to a stride stop, you can extend out with your right hand and finish overtop of a bigger player if you feel like you can get an angle to the basket. We work on inside hand finishes. So driving right results in a left hand, inside hand finish. That is utilized primarily by guys that are smaller, and they're reaching kind of underneath of a bigger player. When we pass the basketball from a stride stop, it's essentially a front pivot. So you're coming to a stop. You're going right, left, coming to a stop. You've got the ball on your back shoulder which is your right shoulder. And then you front pivot on your right foot, and it allows you to ... Rather than pivot through contact. If you come to a jump stop you're more naturally going to front pivot through contact. A stride stop allows you to front pivot away from contact, creates a little bit of separation, and then is easier to pass the basketball. And one of the things is, you know most players ... Especially ones that are continuing to grow and develop, they just see what's in front of them. So as you're driving, they're just constantly trying to throw to what's directly in front of them. But as you become older, you play against better competition, usually the person that's open is the one that's behind you, and the one that's tougher to see. So a stride stop allows for you to come to balance and pivot back towards the person that's filling an opening behind you. So we want guys to try and drive and finish. But I think it puts them in a really good place to pass the basketball once they penetrate and get the thing deep.

Tristan: Now let me ask you, on the college trail, it's a little different from high school as you mentioned earlier especially in the recruiting aspect. Now, tell me where you folks start when it comes to the recruiting. Obviously you're trying to fill a need that your team needs, whether it's height, whether it's speed, whether it's agility. Where do you start with that? Or do you look at the crop of what you have now and see what's out there available? And how do you narrow down who exactly is the right person, target?

Matt Lewis: No doubt, you have to see what your team has, and what the true needs are. Division 3 is a little different than Division 2, Division 1. Division 1 you've got a specific number of roster spots essentially, and then you can carry a couple walk-ons. Division 2, they're doing the partial scholarships and so their rosters can fluctuate a little bit more. Division 3, when you're not offering an athletic scholarship, your roster size can fluctuate a lot, and it does. You know, I've got some coaching buddies that have 13 to 15 on their roster at the Division 3 level. Ourselves at UW Oshkosh, we carry 19 or 20. And we do that for a variety of reasons. One being, I think, competition is a healthy thing within our program. So if there's multiple guys at a position competing for that time then it's a natural thing, they're going to cause each other to get better. So you have to look at where you're at depth-wise at those positions. Do you need more bigs? Do you need more guards? Do you need a couple guys that can flat out shoot the basketball. So that helps you get a start as to where you're going. When we go out and we recruit, the first thing that draws your attention, no doubt, is can a kid play at your level. Can he help you win at your level? And for us, the guys that can help us win big at Division 3, are the guys that can play up a level. So we recruit a lot against Division 2's because we need that next level player to help us win what we want to win which is a national championship. So the talent piece kind of draws your attention. But from there you've got to find out if they're the right fit, and at Oshkosh we want high character young men. So we've got to do our homework. We've got to talk to high school coaches, AU coaches. We've got to interact with that young man and his family multiple times. We've got to get to know people that are just around them apart from coaches, and just try and figure out, is he truly a high character young man? If he is, and he's talented, you know, how is he academically? Can he get into school? And then is he a serious enough student where when he comes to the college, are we going to have to chase him around the class? Are we going to have to worry about constantly, what he's doing in the classroom? At night, in the dorm? That sort of thing. Or is this a kid that's a serious enough student where he's just going to get good grades and excel because he wants to. So high character, a serious student. And then we need a kid that really loves the game of basketball and wants to get better because at Division 3, when we don't have contact for half the year ... I mean, our season ended on March 17th, and this year it's a little different, we're going to Spain so we get some practices leading up to our Spain trip. But in a typical year, our season was done March 17th and we don't have contact until October 15th? We need players that are internally driven, and just going to go and get themselves better. If a kid doesn't love the game of basketball, at the Division 3 level? It's really hard to get better because you don't have a coach that's constantly in the gym with you. You don't have someone that's in the weight room just staring at you making sure you're doing every single rep. Now we're fortunate to have a really good full-time strength coach for our athletic department. But that doesn't exist everywhere at our level. So we need a high character young man. We need a serious student. We need somebody that loves the game. And obviously somebody that can help us win from a talent level.

Craig: Nice, so you talked quite a bit about the character of the players, what about team culture? You know, what are some things that you do to instill that culture within your program?

Matt Lewis: Yeah, we talk a lot about, it's a quote, and we stole it from somewhere, and I've had the opportunity to talk about it a lot the last few weeks. Given our success, people keep asking to do interviews, and I wasn't ready to have the citation, so I got to figure out where we stole this quote from but it's, "Good teams have good players, great teams have great teammates." And whoever came up with it was a pretty smart guy or woman. Likely a woman, she probably came up with it. But we talk a ton about being a great teammate. And that kind of helps us guide how we're going to build our culture. So obviously it starts in the recruiting process, making sure we've got the right people on board. But then how are we going to conduct ourselves on a daily basis, whether it's in practice or outside of practice. Just our daily interactions. How are we going to build a culture that revolves around great teammates? And a lot of it does start just with myself and with our coaching staff. We've got to have open and honest communication, and make sure that guys trust us, and believe in us. And that develops ... You've got to develop a strong relationship with them. If you don't have a relationship, and guys don't trust you, then they're not going to be able to truly buy in to what you're trying to coach and instruct them. And then if they don't trust you there's very little chance that they're trusting their teammates. So the concept of trust is crucial for us. And hopefully if guys can trust the coaching staff, and trust their teammates on a daily basis, they can have confidence in what we're trying to coach, and do. Then hopefully they can have a lot of confidence in themselves as well. So for us, be great teammates. And then hopefully as we're trying to be great teammates we can continue to build and grow our culture in the right direction.

Craig: That's great. Let's switch gears and talk a little bit about the role of technology in your coaching. At Hustle, that's what we're here for. We use technology to make players better. To give coaches better insights. What ... You had talked a little bit about how you use film, and that's certainly one aspect of technology, but what other things do you do when it comes to technology with your team? And then where do you see the future going when it comes to technology in basketball?

Matt Lewis: Yeah. There's almost so much of it now where you just kind of got to pick what fits your program well. And what you think is the most productive or efficient. Obviously we use Synergy a ton for scouting opponents and we use Hudl film still because Hudl is really good, just for the day-to-day practice film. So we're able to upload practice film as soon as we walk off the court and then guys have access to it on their phones and we're able to cut it up and provide feedback for guys, and show it the next day. We use a lot of Google. Just all the Google programs because at our level you don't have a coaching staff that's in the office together every single day. You know, we're fortunate, we've got myself and two full-time assistants. But then we've got two volunteer part-time guys that, one of them works at a bank full-time, and then he comes down to practice as much as he can. But he helps a lot with scouting reports, so we do everything on Google Docs, in terms of our scouts. That way when we're all working from our houses, or our offices, or wherever we're at, we can share and collaborate our thoughts that way. And we use Google Sheets and a variety of things as well. So that's become huge for us. Obviously there's more and more of the analytical things coming out. We haven't got a ton into ... And probably it's me just not being smart enough to understand all the in-depth stats. Obviously there's some on Synergy but then there's a lot of people that are ... Like there's this thing called InStats. There's this thing called Just Play, and some other ones that are huge for coaches and more and more are getting involved in them. We just haven't dove into those quite yet. One thing that you experience at Division 3 that, you just don't have the budget sometimes. As big of a budget as Division 1's, or Division 2's, and so we again have to be selective on what technology we go and access. I think one of the great things that ... It's simple, but it's been really good is just the Twitter, and the Instagram. Our guys, they've got to work on their games half the year on their own. And we are able to provide feedback at the end of the season but those guys just go and steal drills and different skill things that they want to work on off of Twitter, and off of Instagram. And so obviously that's a simple thing but I think it's a really good resource. I steal plays off of Twitter. Every great coach steals sets, and different actions. I follow a couple different people, and you know sometimes in January, in the middle of the night, I'll see really good play I like, we put it in! We just got to use the resources available, and obviously there are a lot of them right now, so. I think it's all ... What do you think is going to be best for your program and allow you to be as good as you can be?

Tristan: Sure, yeah absolutely. Yeah Twitter and Instagram, and all that, they're definitely great for pulling some drills on there. I'll go ahead and make that shameless plug for Hustle as well, in case you guys are looking for some other drills that maybe aren't popping up, in terms of their search terms. But coach, really appreciate your time here tonight, and really think that ... Like I said, all the knowledge you've instilled here, and just being so descriptive about your approach is really going to help our youth athletes out. Now before we let you go, we always love to do a quick rapid-fire round with our guests. And we'll funnel on through it here, might be a little fun, might be a little more of a ... Technique type of questions. But we'll go ahead and start it up. We got the production going on the background. I'll kick it off here. Coach, what's your favorite sports movie?

Matt Lewis: My favorite sports movie, oh Tin Cup.

Craig: I was just talking about that while watching the Masters.

Matt Lewis: Something in the water, you couldn't help.

Craig: Yeah, that's right, agreed. My question is, what's your favorite basketball shoe of all time?

Matt Lewis: Favorite basketball shoe of all time. It's a good thing and a bad thing, it was like the Kobe 2.

Craig: I've heard that before.

Matt Lewis: I dislocated my ankle in a set of those and so I still got them laying around. They had to cut it off my foot. So I've still got them, they were incredibly comfortable, except for that one time I wore them. So.

Tristan: Yeah we'll shuffle that under the rug there then. All right Coach, you are a ... You're obviously an accomplished college basketball coach here, tell me about your first sports memory, whether it's rooting for your own team, rooting for your favorite player when you were younger. What's your very first favorite sports memory? Maybe something that kicked you into this world that you're in here now.

Matt Lewis: You know you can go back to the really little ones where you remember playing at the YMCA or something like that, and I remember losing when I was a real little kid and I just didn't accept it very well. I was a big crier when I was a little kid, I used to lose and start crying. So I had to be consoled quite a bit. But probably my first true memory about maybe possibly coaching was when I was in 6th, 7th, 8th grade I had some really good coaches. And there were some days where I just remember them installing a few things, and as a player I remember specific plays still that they put in. You know, I just kind of remember what it was like listening to the coach at that age, and that really stuck with me.

Craig: Nice, talking about a coach, who is a coach across any sport that you admire the most?

Matt Lewis: The guys, you know, I've got a couple guys that I worked for that I really admire and that's on the personal level, getting to know those guys. As a basketball guy, I've got a lot of respect for Gregg Popovich. It seems like he's built a culture and kind of a family atmosphere, it's pretty unique for the professional level. So if there was one guy I could sit down and hang out with for a weekend and try and figure out what makes him tick and how he was able to do what he's done over his career, it would probably be Popovich.

Tristan: Love it. Yeah well I'm glad we got you before you hung out with Popovich for a weekend because more than likely we would have been getting two word answers coming out of you for the rest of the night. But glad that, like I said, you were able to join us here. Really think it helped us out and really think you had a lot to offer here to some of our young athletes. Appreciate the time once again. Before we let you go, anything ... You mentioned the social media. Any kind of social media, any organizations you want to plug before we let you go here?

Matt Lewis: Yeah I think as a college coach, the Coaches vs. Cancer thing is huge. That always comes up kind of middle, late of our season. Kind of in January. So if anybody's ever looking to get involved that would be something incredible to continue to support. A lot of the Division 1 coaches are doing fundraisers. I just saw that Coach Underwood at Illinois was doing a Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser the other night, and several Division 1 coaches flew in from around the country to support that. So that's obviously an incredible thing as we continue to fight cancer. I'll just toss out that if I can ever be of help, in any way, to your listeners feel free to look me up on our website. That's probably the easiest way, is my email and office phone number are listed on there. I try to respond to every email that I receive. Sometimes it takes a little longer than others but I'll do my best. So if they've got basic questions, or recruiting questions, or coaching questions, whatever it may be, feel free to reach out to me. I'd love to hear from you and respond back.

Tristan: Got it, and as someone that's talking to you right now I can certainly attest to that. That's Coach Matt Lewis there. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Head Men's Basketball Coach. Current D3 National Champion. Coach, really appreciate your time here tonight, thank you again.

Matt Lewis: Thank you guys, I had a lot of fun.