Matt Miracle contemplated becoming an FBI agent, a minister and eventually became a stockbroker for Lehman Brothers before finally finding his calling after years of being utterly unsatisfied: football.
“I was really quite bored,” Miracle said on his career before football. “I didn’t like the desk job, I didn’t like the [hours].”
Miracle finally decided to begin his coaching career at Bedford Junior High School in 2004. It was here where Miracle said he met his first mentor, Bedford’s athletic director Gary Olivo.
“He would talk about things to do as a coach and not to do as a coach, where to stand, how to hold your body, different arm positions,” Miracle said.
Through a series of professional-turned-personal relationships and family loyalty, Miracle quickly rose through the ranks of six different high schools in Texas before becoming the special teams coordinator for the Paschal Panthers before the 2014 season.
The following February, Miracle was promoted to defensive coordinator and before the first spring game in April, former Paschal coach Matt Cook informed Miracle he was taking another job at a different school. Miracle applied for the position and won out against several other candidates.
“At first, I was pretty nervous because I didn’t know how he was going to take over after Coach Cook left,” said Jalen Rispress, the Paschal Panthers’ free safety. “But now you see we’ve made some pretty good progress as our season is coming on.”
The Panthers ended last year with a 2-8 record, winning only one game in district play. So far this year, the Panthers are 3-4 and have already scored more in three games than they did in five games last year.
However, it is not the record that Miracle is concerned with. He sees more pressing needs than playing well on the field.
“I don’t measure in wins and losses,” Miracle said. “If they improve in the way they connect themselves in the classroom because of the rules and accountability that I hold them to, then I’ve done my job. That’s a success.”
The players have taken notice of Miracle’s off-field philosophy and have embraced it fully.
“[Miracle] is stricter, more disciplined, harder on us,” said defensive end Edmond Allen. “It’s just better than last year.”
Clint Hyde, Miracle’s offensive coordinator, also sees the effort he puts into ensuring his players’ success in their personal lives.
“Our success is not about football,” Hyde said. “It’s about bringing in discipline and character.”
Miracle and the Panthers are looking forward to their game Saturday in AT&T Stadium.
Miracle will also be honored at the stadium as the Whataburger Coach of the Week, which was presented to Miracle by the Cowboys for his coaching in week four of this season.