About Me

MattDias

Long before I decided to dive head-first into the coaching world, writing was my profession. This blog is an opportunity to merge my passions for both American Football and the written word. Here, you’ll find some ideas, insights, reflections and reports about my daily life as a Football coach in Europe. But first, a peek into my background:


I was born in 1986 in Curitiba, Brazil – city where I grew up and lived most of my life. That’s where I got my bachelors in Mass Communication – Journalism at Universidade Positivo and for over a decade worked with Public Relations and news reporting. That’s also where I had my first contact with American Football and quickly joined the Curitiba Brown Spiders as a player in 2005 – when the team was nothing more than a bunch of guys chasing a football and hitting each other without pads or helmets.

Few years later, the Brown Spiders were the first team in Brazil to have complete sets of protective equipment for all it’s players, giving birth to a local revolution that, today, is considered to be the fastest-growing sport in the country. At Defensive End, I was fortunate to be a starter in the first-ever Football game in Brazil, in 2008, against the other team in town, known then as Barigui Crocodiles. I was awarded Defensive MVP honors in that historical game, but my playing days didn’t last for long. In 2011, after two surgeries in less than a year due to injuries, I found out that there’s also a lot of thrill and satisfaction from the sidelines. With the Brown Spiders I was Defensive Coordinator, Offensive Coordinator and, finally, Head Coach.

Playing Football just for fun suddenly wasn’t enough. I wanted to make a living out of it. That’s when my professional career as a Journalist and my hobby with Football started to merge. In 2009, after a few scattered experiences as a sportswriter in Brazil, I had the honor to represent “Gazeta do Povo”, the biggest newspaper in my home state, as an international correspondent during Super Bowl XLIII, in Tampa, FL. From that moment on, all I wanted to do was to continue to be part of that exclusive group of people allowed to mingle, sit down and talk with the best players and coaches in the world. After that year, I’ve witnessed and reported on six more Super Bowls and one Pro Bowl.

In 2013 I had the opportunity to move to Philadelphia, in the United States, as an international correspondent for one of Brazil’s biggest online news portal. Even though not allocated to the sports section, the idea of making a living out of Football was still alive. I wanted to cover the NFL full-time, and no place better to do that than in the US. When – not surprisingly – I realized that American news outlets were not that interested in a Brazilian talking about Football, I swept the dust off my whistle and went back to coaching, as a volunteer at West Philadelphia High School.

I was lucky to knock on Head Coach Frank Steed’s door. Unlike other local coaches, he didn’t frown upon the idea of having a Brazilian as part of his staff and welcomed me with open arms, even not knowing much about my past experiences. It didn’t take long until I realized that my case wasn’t an exception with the Speedboys; it was actually the rule. When it comes to players, that coaching staff would welcome any kid who wanted to be part of the team, even if they never touched a football in their whole lives. Everyone was given a chance to prove themselves and be part of something greater – an opportunity especially important in an inner-city neighborhood.

That’s when I experienced the positive impact you can have as a coach. And when I realized for good that coaching Football was what I definitely wanted to do for a living. But as you can imagine, transitioning from Journalist to Professional Coach in the United States as a foreign isn’t the easiest task.

My chance came a few months after meeting Coach Dan Levy, who is American, played D1 ball in the States and has had a successful career coaching Football abroad. He gave me the opportunity to live my dream and become a professional coach, but in a slightly different setting: as part of the Warsaw Eagles, in the capital city of Poland.

After some extremely busy six months of breathing Football 24/7, I’ve finally found some time to dust off this website and come full circle: if 11 years ago I used to write for a living and play Football as a hobby, now I’m incredibly blessed to say that I was able to coach Football for a living, and come back to writing as a hobby.

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