Diamond Bar Coach Awarded NFL Honor


The Christmas season is known to be the season of joy and gift gifting, and head football coach Matt Castaneda’s present this year met such expectations. After one of the most successful Brahma football seasons, Castaneda was awarded the title and honor of LA Rams High School Coach of the Year. 

The entire process of winning the award was lengthy, spanning from the start of the school year to the final votes and decisions made in December. After having his name submitted as one of the candidates for the prize in September, the Rams’ selection committee narrowed the numerous participants down to the 20 coaches with the greatest playing records and most ideal personal qualities for leading a high school sports team.

With the votes of more than 17,000 fans, the 20 remaining were whittled down to the final three, who were all asked to attend the Rams vs. Broncos football match at SoFi Stadium on Christmas Day, where they would all be recognized on the field, while the winner of the title would be announced over live television on Nickelodeon.

“I was honestly shocked and somewhat embarrassed while on TV and when I got my name called for the award,” Castaneda said via email. “It was a huge crowd and many people I know were calling and texting, seeing me on TV and congratulating me, but I was still in shock that I actually won.”

It came as a great honor to Castaneda that as a finalist and the eventual winner, he would be on equal standing with more notable and experienced coaches despite having only coached for five years.

“The players here at DBHS deserve to have the best coach and coaching staff around,” Castaneda said. 

According to the head coach, the greatest factors contributing to his coaching success and recent achievements are none other than the athletes themselves. 

“The award is great, but it really was a total effort from the entire Brahma Nation that voted for me,” Castaneda said. “Credit really goes to my football staff, players and their parents for the great year we had.”

Accompanying the title was a $3,000 donation towards Diamond Bar High School’s athletic program to be used to upgrade equipment, and a paid vacation for Castaneda. 

“My plan was to purchase an instant video replay system so that our program can utilize in-game video replay for adjustments,” Castaneda said. “If we have money left over, the plan is to put that towards a robotic remote controlled tackling bag. The idea is to use this bag as opposed to full contact to reduce injury for our players throughout the season.”