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Coach Luneau


Allow me to introduce my friend Matt Luneau, who, along with his wife, Ilze, and family attend our son Dan's church. Here is a story worth reading, about some people who feel it is more important to obey  God rather than men.

    Enosburg Falls boys basketball head coach Matt Luneau watches the action on 
     the court during a game against host Winooski on Jan. 22. / BRIAN JENKINS/For the Free Press

Luneau comes back to Vermont
Feb 7, 2013   |  

Written by
Free Press Correspondent
ENOSBURG — More than 20 years after he landed his first high school basketball coaching job at Richford High School, Matt Luneau’s career has come full circle, give or a take a few miles.
After leaving the Richford job in the early 90s, Luneau embarked on a two-decade journey around the Northeast as a college assistant coach, including two years with the University of Vermont women’s basketball team and the last nine as an assistant for the Syracuse University women’s team.
This winter, Luneau returned to Franklin County as coach of the Enosburg High School boys basketball team.
For the Sheldon native and 1984 graduate of Missisquoi Valley Union in Swanton, the time was right to return to his roots.
“My wife Ilze and I have three girls (Iliana, 12; Marika, 10; and Evangelica, 4) and college coaching requires a lot of travel,” said Luneau, who worked with the low-post players at Syracuse in addition to “being on planes four days a week” for much of the year in his role as a primary recruiter.
“Kids grow up fast and I wasn’t willing to miss being there for them anymore,” said Luneau.
Once he decided to step off the college coaching carousel, Luneau said he toyed with the notion of remaining in western New York. Instead, he opted to raise his girls in northwestern Vermont.
Luneau worked his last day for Syracuse in August. A month later, he was living and teaching (and soon to be coaching) in Enosburg.
“I didn’t come back to Vermont with the intention of coaching, but I’m really enjoying working this group of young men,” said Luneau. “It’s been a great experience so far.”
Enosburg athletic director Chris Brigham said Luneau was the right man at the right time to help a program that lost its coach after reaching the Final Four last season.
Previous Hornet coach Steve Jette left the school last summer to pursue a job out of state, leaving an opening for a part-time physical education teacher and a varsity boys basketball coach.
“We were lucky to have a coach of his caliber available,” said Brigham. “He’s everything an athletic director could ask for in a coach. The kids love him. He’s getting the most out of them, on and off the court.”
Enosburg senior point guard Wyatt Larose said Luneau quickly earned players’ respect and despite some initial reservations, the level of accountability Luneau demands from his players has been embraced by the team.
“He expects a lot out of us,” said Larose. “It’s not just when we are at practice. We have to do study sessions and lift weights, too.”
“At first it was a little different,” said senior guard Brandon Gleason, the team’s leading scorer. “Guys were like, ‘Do we really have to do all of this?’ But it has helped us.”
On the court, the Hornets are 9-6 and riding a four-game win streak after Tuesday’s win over Peoples. Off the court, Brigham is more proud of a different record.
“We just had our marks come in at school and as a group, the team is averaging 90 percent in their classes. That’s remarkable,” said Brigham. “ It says a lot about what Matt is instilling in these guys and it says a lot about the way the kids feel about him, too.”
Following are two letters from Matt. Eric Savoy is a boy Matt heard about, when he came to coach at Enosburgh. Eric was a good player, but he had a drug problem and had lost two years of basketball because of it. Matt went to see him and led him to the Lord. He helped him through some struggles and now Eric is on the team. The top scorer on the team, Brandon, has also come to Christ. Those are the only two so far. But read this:
Today myself, Chris Brigham the athletic director of Enosburgh, and Eric Savoy went to a meeting in Stowe to request a waiver so that Eric would be given an extra year of eligibility playing basketball for next year.  This was supposed to be Eric's last year of eligibility being four years in high school.  But because of his addiction with drugs he has not been able to play the last two years.   We presented Eric's story to 12 athletic directors and principals from all over the state so that they would hopefully grant him a hardship waiver.   I got to share Eric's story to all these leaders throughout the state, and I got real personal.   Chris spoke, and then Eric got to speak.   Then the committee all took turns asking us questions.   Eric and I left the meeting and headed back to Enosburg, while Chris stayed behind with other business matters.   We had practice tonight, and Chris came to tell us that the committee granted Eric the extra year of eligibility.  Praise The Lord!   Chris said that they had a unanimous decision before Eric and I even got to our call.  He said they were just so impressed and amazed with his transformation.  They were looking at his transcripts, letters, and hearing us talk.  Chris was so excited about what the committee was saying.  He said all they talked about was how they thought great things were happening at Enosburg High School.   And God had Dan Marlow athletic director of BFA there as well and he was even selling Eric, and the boys’ basketball team.  It was just amazing.    We have been so amazed with everything that God has been doing through Eric, and now He reaches a group of educational leaders throughout the state through Eric, and now He gives Eric another year of eligibility to play basketball at the high school.   Another year I get to coach Eric.  And I get to see our AWESOME GOD at work!!

For He is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than what we can ask or think!!
Ephesians 3:20

I thought no one can talk about God in a public school activity. I thought there could be no songs that mentioned God or Christ. Apparently, I was wrong. Or maybe I’m right, but here is a Christian that ignores those phoney challenges and goes after souls! Dan, our son, who is Matt’s pastor, wrote me that Matt and his wife, Ilze, are doing everything that needs to be done, in order for him to get fired. But so far, nobody’s talking about firing him. In fact, as you have already read, he is making a thrilling impression, not only on the boys he coaches, but on school officials. Go for it, Matt!! Pray for him, people!!

The last two nights (Saturday and Sunday) our boys basketball team at Enosburg has been rehearsing together singing "Victory In Jesus" and "Lord I Give You My Heart".  We have been practicing so that we can sing at local churches, as we will be singing at Swanton Christian Church in a couple weeks.   I have been watching these guys who have never sung, and now they are singing together Christian songs.  It is something that they have never done.  I have even been a little worried that this is so new for the guys that it might be a distraction from them playing basketball as we played #3 ranked team in the state Fairfax tonight.   So tonight we played Fairfax and were down the whole game, and Eric Savoy hit a 3 pointer right at the end of the third quarter to give us our first lead by 1 point.  In between quarters our athletic director Chris Brigham, went into his office and he said he prayed.  He said "Jesus these guys are doing so much for You, they are even singing to You and singing for You.  Jesus just help them win this for You."   We ended up winning the game by 14 points, and now have won 5 games in a row, and playing by far the best ball all year.    Our focus has been Jesus, love and hugs, and saying "I love you".    I just texted one of my players (Brandon Gleason) after the win "Oh Victory!  In JESUS!”  He texted back "MY SAVIOR FOREVER!" 
Praise the Lord!! 
Please keep praying for us.

Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.  And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Acts 18:9-11


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