TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (August 20, 2019) – Tallahassee Community College introduced Matt Huddleston as its new head women's basketball coach on Tuesday during a press conference inside the Bill Hebrock Eagledome.
Huddleston becomes just the fourth head coach in school history and succeeds Franqua "Q" Bedell, who guided the Eagles to a national championship in 2018.
Tuesday's announcement officially ended a process that began almost four months ago when Bedell left to join Missouri State University as its top assistant. Despite the lengthy search, director of athletics Rob Chaney expressed little concern, due in large part to the foundation established by Bedell, particularly with the 2019 recruiting class.
"We had already signed four young ladies when Q stepped down and he had initiated the recruitment of five more," said Chaney. "He handed off his playbook, so to speak, and (volunteer assistant) Joe (Cohen) and I went to work to finish the class."
According to Chaney, he and Cohen successfully signed all but one of the five and all but one of the original signees stuck with the Eagles.
"I can't say enough about the job Joe did," Chaney said. "He stepped up in a time of need and did a wonderful job making sure the program continued to move forward during the interim period. At the same time, the young ladies are to be commended. They hung in there with us and my commitment to them throughout the process was that I was going to make sure I hired the right coach, regardless of what the calendar said - and I'm excited for them to get to work with Matt."
A native of Atlanta, Ga., the 43-year old Huddleston comes to Tallahassee after spending the 2018-19 season as associate head coach at St. Francis (Pa.) University, where he helped guide the Red Flash to within one victory of the NCAA Tournament, finishing as runners-up in the Northeast Conference Tournament.
His resume also includes a three-year (2012-15) stint as assistant coach at Winthrop University, two separate one-year stops in Georgia's high school ranks (Decatur High School, 2010-11; Vidalia High School, 2017-18) and parts of 19 seasons with the renowned Georgia Metros Basketball Club, one of the top girls AAU programs in the country.
Beginning as a volunteer coach in 1993, Huddleston served in various capacities with the Atlanta-based Metros, eventually ascending to Co-Director and Director of Coaching from 2015-17. During his AAU coaching tenure, he coached 25 AAU All-Americans, 12 NIKE All-Americans, four McDonald's High School All-Americans and more than 100 players earned college scholarships, most notably Maya Moore, who enjoyed a legendary career at the University of Connecticut and later in the WNBA.
Huddleston was also the owner and operator of Top Prospects Basketball, a training program for male and female players pursuing basketball opportunities at the collegiate and professional levels. Through Top Prospects, he organized and operated events that targeted the high school basketball community, including Maya Moore's Christmas Skills Clinic for the Jordan brand.
Huddleston is a graduate of Valdosta State University, where he earned a degree in education. His sister, Julia, is the head women's coach at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.