Matt Lubick is a humble, no-nonsense kind of guy. The University of Oregon football passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach from Bozeman, Montana, might attribute that to how he was raised.
“It is a beautiful community,” he says of his home state. “The neat thing about Montana for me was my family and extended family lived there, so I got to spend a lot of time with grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. That was awesome.”
Lubick became interested in football quickly. His father, Sonny, was a longtime coach at Montana State.
“One of the ways my dad and I were able to bond is he let me be involved,” Lubick explains. “I was a ball boy, hung out in the locker room, traveled with them, and I felt like I was part of the team. Those were some of the best memories I’ve got.”
Eventually, Lubick played defensive back at Western Montana in the early 1990s.
“I wasn’t that good,” he laughs. “I tried to be an overachiever. I wasn’t the fastest guy or the strongest guy. . . . I was blessed that my dad gave me a lot of insight, but to also understand my opponents. Whatever I may have lacked in speed and size, I could overcome with technique and just understanding the game. There are some smart players that can overcome a lack of natural talent.”
That’s something he tries to pass on to his receivers at UO every day.
“We try to make guys complete players,” Lubick says. “Part of coaching offense is teaching other people’s defense. Teaching how we’re going to attack it, understand it, and how they’re playing against you. What’s the weakness of this? What’s the strengths of it and how to play against it? When you’ve played, it helps you understand what they’re going through. You remember, ‘I struggled with this’ or ‘I liked when my coach treated me this way.’ I try to pass on what I enjoyed from my coaches onto my players.”
Lubick certainly knows a thing or two on the coaching front. He’s worked as an assistant in the SEC (while at Ole Miss), and in the ACC (Duke). But in addition to the job he’s held at UO since 2013, he’s also had stints at Pac-12 schools such as ASU and Oregon State. Though he says there are more similarities than differences with the other conferences, there’s a lot he likes about the Pac-12.
“I love the Pac-12,” he explains. “Because from top to bottom, there’s not a better conference. It doesn’t matter who you play in the Pac-12, whether it’s a higher ranked or lower ranked team, you’re not going to win if you don’t show up. So because anything can happen any given day, you must be ready every week.”
It’s why Lubick does his due diligence to keep the Ducks one of the top offenses in college football. Last season, the UO receiving corps was more than good enough to win a Rose Bowl and play for the national championship. His fellow coaches and players have more than appreciated his efforts.
“‘Lubes’ is a fantastic coach,” says UO head football coach Mark Helfrich. “He’s a grinder. Very diligent and detailed in recruiting, coaching, and [in] his approach to teaching. Everything he does is very thorough. Players love him and play hard for him.”
“He’s a guy that takes getting us ready very seriously,” says UO wide receiver Bralon Addison. “Coach Lubick loves his job, and is one of the most competitive coaches I’ve ever been around. So he prepares us well, and I think that the receiving corps has grown a lot since he’s been here. We’ve gotten better and deeper every year.”
As for this season, Lubick believes that his current group of receivers might be the most talented he’s ever coached. While this has been a season of ups and downs, the Ducks still have a chance to make some statements in the Pac-12 and could have their 11th consecutive year in a bowl game.
“We have to keep focusing on getting better each day,” Lubick says of the rest of this year. “I know that sounds like common sense and very easy to do. But it’s not. I think when you start thinking about maybe too much down the road, that’s when bad things happen. If you take care of today, you’ll be prepared for tomorrow. And tomorrow will take care of itself.”
Regardless, the 43-year-old Lubick has enjoyed his time so far in the Eugene area.
“I love the people,” he says. “I’m an outdoors guy that loves to run, and this is running heaven. I do like to stay fit, but running to me is about the peace that it gives me. It’s a fun hobby. It’s where I think the best. It’s where I’m the most clear, and when things aren’t going well, there’s nothing like a good jog to make you feel better and clear your head.”
Moreover, he loves getting up every morning and working for one of the more unique football programs in the country.
“I work with great people,” Lubick states. “That’s been the key to Oregon’s success. There’s plenty of continuity. The reason other people don’t leave this program when they’ve had opportunities is because they enjoy it here and working with each other. I’m glad to be here, and I count my blessings every day.”