MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

June 16, 2014

Tahlequah's Cloud leaves softball, becomes new AD

Matt Cloud, who lifted Tahlequah High’s fastpitch softball program to prominency the past four years, has accepted a new role in the TPS district as its athletic director.

Cloud, 287-36 in both fastpitch and slowpitch, leaves a program that he made eight state tournaments in as many seasons. The four-year run in fastpitch which included one Class 5A finals berth and two semifinals is unprecendented at the school.

The traditionally tough slowpitch squad under his predecessor, Ronnie Rogers continued that tradition under Cloud with four state tournament trips and one finals berth this past season.

“It’s been something I’ve had on my mind a while as far as getting into administration and this opportunity came up and I felt it was the time to do so,” Cloud said. “I want to build the total program. I think I left softball in pretty good shape and slowpitch has been for a long time. I want to do the same for the rest of the program.”

Cloud replaces Brad Gilbert, who will focus solely on football duties.

Matt’s dad, Gil, has been the athletic director at a countless number of high schools, including Tulsa Public Schools, where he currently resides over the district’s athletic programs. Gil Cloud also served as the athletic director at Northeastern State.

Matt Cloud will take over as AD officially on July 3. He told his players Monday night after a summer league game.

“We graduate a lot, but this isn’t an escape from what we have left,” he said. “We’ve got a good core of kids back and I intend to find someone who will come in here and continue what we’ve done.”

As far as the other programs, and ideas he might already have?

“It’s going to take some time getting used to being over coaches who have been my colleagues,” he said. “I want to spend some time listening to them, pick their minds and see what they see as their needs,” he said.

“I want to do things right. And I want to go above and beyond where we’ve been lacking. Not to imply anything about anyone or any program. I just think we can find ways to be successful in all phases.”

Muskogee coach Keith Coleman said Cloud’s promotion was “well deserved” and he didn’t expect softball to decline there.

“They didn’t drop after Erica Sampson left,” he said of the OU and TU standout.  “He’s developed talent throughout that system.”

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