ABILENE, Texas – McMurry University Athletics has found its first Esports head coach, as Director of Athletics Sam Ferguson has named Matt Tarpley to the position.
Ferguson didn’t have to look very far for Tarpley, who is currently an Infrastructure Support Technician for Merkel ISD, a position he has held since 2014.
“We are thrilled that Coach Tarpley has made the decision to join the McMurry Family. His passion for Esports, but more importantly, his passion for helping young men and women find success makes him a great fit,” Ferguson said. “He is committed to Developing Champions for Life while launching our new program. It’s exciting to finally have an opportunity to name a head coach. Attracting someone with the credentials of Coach Tarpley makes this announcement that much more exciting.”
McMurry selects Tarpley to lead new Esports program
Tarpley is a member of Esports for Education and has watched over 1000 hours of professional and Tier 2 Overwatch, which consists of League, World Cup and Contenders. He has researched numerous leagues’ documentation, including league rules and curriculum resources.
“I am very excited to be given this opportunity to build the foundations of a varsity Esport program at McMurry University. I look forward to joining the McMurry family of competitive excellence,” Tarpley said.
One aspect of Esports is that it focuses on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), which Tarpley understands and promotes in his coaching.
“The Esports industry is a very sophisticated entity,” Tarpley explained. “It marries complex technology with sports entertainment and infuses it all with a unique take on social engagement. I am actually teaching an advanced marketing class that revolves entirely around the Esports industry at Merkel High School.”
Tarpley is also a SilphRoad Guide in the Abilene area for Pokemon Go, a grassroots network of gamers that organize events at a local level.
In 2014, Tarpley spent the year as an Information Technology intern with the City of Abilene, deploying new computers, using SCCM to image software and working at the help desk, using Dameware for remote assistance.
Prior to working as an intern and for Merkel, Tarpley spent three years as a Certified Nurse’s Aide at Hendrick Medical Center.
Tarpley graduated with Honors from Texas State Technical College in 2014 with an AAS in Computer Networking and Computer Administration, and earned a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Asian Studies from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia in 2007.