Braintree athletic director Mike Denise announced Tuesday the school has hired Matt Freeman as its girls’ basketball coach.
Freeman, a social studies teacher at Braintree for 23 years, takes over the two-time defending Division 1 state champions from Kristen McDonnell, who stepped down in June after 10 seasons to take the boys’ basketball coaching position at Norwood. Freeman graduated from Bishop Feehan in 1991, where he was a Globe All-Scholastic his senior season, and Williams College in 1995. He coached the Feehan boys’ program for 17 seasons, and won 249 games and the Division 2 South sectional title in 2015. Freeman’s tenure ended at the end of the 2017-18 season, when the Shamrocks went 11-10, and he was an assistant coach with the Dover-Sherborn boys’ program, helping it to a Division 3 state title.
“I’m just really fortunate to get this opportunity . . . I want to work really hard in developing relationships with these young ladies,” Freeman said.
Freeman first discussed the position with Denise in July.
“Matt’s extensive coaching experience and familiarity with the Braintree Public Schools’ mission . . . are invaluable to heading this elite girls’ basketball program within the Bay State Conference and amongst Division 1 programs in the Commonwealth,” Denise said in a statement. “His career in the classroom and on the court speaks for itself — he is a quality individual that has a passion to teach and maximize the potential of his pupils.”
Braintree went 22-4 last season and defeated Springfield Central, 71-50, to repeat as state champions. Freeman doesn’t expect to set state title expectations from Day 1, but his top priorities before practices begin in November are to build relationships and assess the team’s talent level.
“I’m trying not to look at it so much in terms of pressure,” Freeman said. “I’m the first to admit it’s a tough act to follow, but I’m not really looking at it that way.”
Freeman, a Medway resident, has not coached a girls’ program at the high school level, but he has in camps and clinics. He has two daughters, ages 15 and 11, and the youngest plays in the Medway youth program.
“Maybe I can be an extra good role model to my girls if they can see I can coach young women,” he said.