OFFICIAL: Bolton promoted to Head Basketball Coach at University of the Ozarks

Photo Courtesy University of the Ozarks Athletics

Following-up on my report from earlier today (D3 DIRT)…

Matt Bolton has officially been named as the new head men’s basketball coach at University of the Ozarks. Here is the official release from the school:

University of the Ozarks has promoted Matt Bolton to head men’s basketball coach, it was announced by athletic director Jimmy Clark Thursday, May 12.

Bolton served as an assistant coach during the 2021-2022 season and now takes over the program at the age of 26. Bolton replaces Travis Carruthers, who relocated to Texas.

“We are thrilled to have Matt as our new head coach,” said Clark. “Matt is a rising coach who has all the characteristics to be successful. He works hard and has a wonderful attitude and a passion for developing students on and off the court. Following the departure of Coach Carruthers, he didn’t slow down on moving the program forward. He took on the program like he was the head coach and ran with it. And in just one season, he has developed connections and relationships in the recruiting circles.”

Under Bolton, the Eagles were among the top defensive teams in the American Southwest Conference limiting opponents to 30 percent from the three-point line. The Eagles were also among the top rebounding teams in the conference, ranking third in defensive rebounding at 28.4 per game. Offensively, the Eagles had two of the top-15 scorers in the league.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity to take over this program,” said Bolton. “I think we have a great group of guys coming back and coming in. I am appreciative of the search committee along with Jimmy Clark, Amy Lloyd and President Dunsworth for having faith in me.”

Prior to Ozarks, Bolton was an assistant coach at NCAA III Cazenovia College in New York during the 2020-21 season. He later was a graduate assistant in the athletic department at Ohio University. 
Bolton believes Ozarks provides educational opportunities not found at other institutions. 

“The way the university approaches our academics and the LENS program is special,” he said. “It provides our students an advantage following graduation. Our people care about the student as an individual. Students are not just a number. Our students have tremendous resources to be successful. Additionally, our professors invest in students. The university is a model for what NCAA Division III is about.” 

Bolton’s coaching philosophy emphasizes defense and rebounding.

“We will defend and rebound,” he said. “I think if you defend at a really high level and win the glass, you give yourself a chance in games, regardless of the opponent. Our offensive game plan depends on the personnel. I think we need to get out and run for a chance to score easy buckets before the defense is set. And to beat the toughest teams, we have to execute in halfcourt. But we will hang our hat on stopping teams and rebounding the basketball.”
A native of Cato, New York, Bolton played power forward at Keuka College (New York) from 2017-2019 and was a member of the conference Scholar-Athlete Team while serving as team captain. He played basketball, baseball and golf collegiately.

He received his bachelor’s degree in business and sports management from Keuka in 2019 and his master’s degree in coaching education from Ohio University in 2020.

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