By David Purdum / For the AJC
Matt Kramer faces an unfamiliar challenge in his first year as head boys basketball coach Milton High School. Kramer has never coached this much talent.
Hired over the summer, Kramer made a name for himself coaching in Ohio. He turned around a struggling program at Fairless High School, before persevering through three tough seasons at Canton South. He had one player go on to play at the Division II level during his 14 seasons as a head coach in Ohio. At Milton, he inherits a roster with potentially five Division I prospects.
“With everything I’ve done with programs that don’t have a lot, I’m really excited to see what I can do with a program that does have everything you need,” said Kramer. “This is like Disneyland for me. We’ve got players at every position that are really, really good. In my experience, if you get kids who are pretty good and get them to play hard and play together, they can do great things. So if you have kids who are extraordinarily talented and you can get them to play hard and play together, to me, the sky’s the limit for these guys.”
Kramer was hired July 6. He is the Eagles’ third coach in as many seasons, following Van Keys and David Boyd. Boyd led Milton to the 2012 and 2010 state championships, before being terminated after a Fulton County investigation alleged he used undue influence to attract players from outside of the district. Keys took over for Boyd and led the Eagles to a 14-10 mark last season.
“In the interview, one of the things that stood out to me was that they really want a coach that’s going to build the feeder system, work with the junior Eagles and connect the middle-school team to the high school team,” said Kramer. “They wanted someone who was going to try to maintain the level of success that Milton has had over the past four years using Milton kids.”
Kramer, 44, was working as an assistant coach at North Canton Hoover High School, when he was first contact about the Milton position by former Georgia coach and current San Antonio Spurs executive Dennis Felton in June. A month later, Kramer accepted the position and moved his family to Georgia from Ohio. He is married to wife Christine and has three kids, sons Luke and Landon and daughter Olivia. He arrives with a career record of 142-103 as a head coach and is the co-author of the book, “The Best-Laid Plans of a High School Basketball CEO.”
The son of a basketball coach, Kramer says the Eagles will get up and down the court, shoot a lot of threes and play pressure defense this season. Milton opens practice Oct. 28. The Eagles first game is Nov. 15.