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WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Assistant coach Matt Airy, a 2004 Whitman College graduate, returned to the men’s basketball program during the summer of 2008, after four years of coaching at Bellevue Community College in his hometown of Bellevue, Wash.
Airy’s experience with Whitman started in January of 2000, when he entered school as a first-year transfer student. He was a part of five Whitman basketball squads from 2000 through 2004, and in spite of knee problems that forced him to sit out his junior season, he finished his experience with a strong senior campaign.
After graduating with a double major in psychology and rhetoric & film studies, he joined the coaching staff at Bellevue Community College as an assistant under his former high school coach Jeremy Eggers. In four outstanding seasons, BCC posted a record of 97-30, won three Northern Region championships, and advanced to the NWAACC championship tournament each year, including a run to the 2007 title game.
One of Airy’s coaching duties at Bellevue was post player development. In his four seasons, seven of BCC’s big men were honored as All-Region performers, including one Region MVP and two All-NWAACC Tournament selections.
Airy earned a Certificate in Sports Management from the University of Washington’s School of Business in 2005. He also holds a Masters of Education in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership from the University of Washington. As part of his Master’s program he returned to Whitman in March of 2008 for a week-long internship in the Athletic Department, only to find himself in Walla Walla once again in the summer -- this time to stay.
"I couldn’t be more thrilled to be returning to my alma mater," Airy said. "I was fortunate to have an outstanding experience at Bellevue Community College, but there is no doubt that it is the right time to return home. As is the case with most Whitman alumni, this college holds a special place in my heart, and to have the opportunity to return at this exciting juncture is truly a privilege. I am humbled and honored to be here with coach Eric Bridgeland, and I am grateful for the chance to give back to an institution that has already given so much to me."