by Katrina Hall
Flag football, a one-day softball tournament, intramural basketball, a soccer league and other activities are what senior Matt Durant plans and expedites while holding this year’s position as intramural coordinator.
“I like the pressure of coming up with an idea, advertising it, getting people to do it and seeing it in action,” said Durant.
Durant made a decision to be the intramural coordinator because he not only enjoys sports, but he knows how to put activities into action.
“I was selected because I am a realist, and I wanted to try my hands at it,” said Durant.
“Melissa [Jaunal, coordinator of student programs] is helpful in letting me try new things,” said Durant. “She backs me up 100 percent.”
“Matt has motivation and enthusiasm,” said Jaunal. He has good fresh ideas and was willing to put in the effort to keep up with the program and improve it.”
“Matt is a smart guy who is responsible and on top of things,” said senior Devin Carillo. “He gets the job done.”
Durant was born and raised in San Luis Obispo, with his only other sibling, younger brother, Mike, 19 years old.
“He’s the only person in the world who makes me laugh on command,” said Durant.
His parents are Col. John and Shirley, a school secretary for 19 years. His father has been in the Marine Corps Reserves for 33 years.
As a family, the Durants have fun together doing various activities including surfing, snowboarding and skiing.
“When Matt comes back to San Luis Obispo the grounds start to shake because he brings about a certain era of activity,” said Col. Durant.
Durant was around his father constantly in high school.
“He was my high school typing teacher and gave me detention for being late once,” said Durant.
Col. Durant was also Matt’s high school football coach.
“When he was little, he was very active,” said Mrs. Durant.
“Matt is a very determined athlete,” said Col. Durant.
“We made it to the playoffs every year, but just couldn’t close the deal,” Durant said.
Durant played various positions on the San Luis Obispo High School football team, but his main position for excelling was as a quarterback.
Durant also played baseball, basketball and ran track in high school.
Now playing for the University of La Verne as a wide receiver for the past two seasons, he is the holder for the extra point and units field goal. He brings character to the field.
“Matt is a very good athlete,” said Don Morel, ULV head football coach. “His most outstanding characteristic is his work ethic.”
Though this season is having its ups and downs, Durant feels he is having a lot of fun and is learning a lot about football.
He enjoys going to practice. “The only time I am serious is those three months out of the year,” said Durant.
“He’s an overachiever when it comes to getting the most out of his athletic ability,” said Morel.
Prior to playing at ULV, Durant attended San Francisco State University as a football player but redshirted.
After a semester of feeling distraught, he left to attend Allen Hancock Junior College in Santa Maria, residing there for two years.
“I left San Francisco State because of no camaraderie or team support,” said Durant.
Competing in track and field at ULV to improve in football, Durant is having fun.
“When you go from a sport like football to track, it is an individual,” said Durant. “In football, there are a lot of intangibles, but in track, it is whether you can run.”
Though the competition was not in his favor, Durant received support from teammates.
“They helped me out a lot, showed me a lot of respect and helped me to see my goal,” said Durant.
“Going out and competing and the everyday grind helped me to be a better football player,” he said. “My goal is to be the best football player I can be.”
Though football gives him the thrill, his favorite sport is surfing.
“It’s my tension releaser and it is where I go to relax,” said Durant. “It’s the feeling of you, the ocean and mother nature.”
Loving the water and the feeling of it, Durant said he tries to go as often as possible.
“I could be in a bad mood and after a couple of hours of surfing, I have forgotten about everything and I am relaxed,” he said.
“I lived in Malibu and surfed a lot so I think both sons get it from me,” said Col. Durant.
His ultimate fantasy is to retire in San Jose on the beach in Mexico.
Being the practical joker he is most known for, Durant’s favorite and newest hobby is crank calling.
“I crank call my mom all the time, and I tell dumb jokes and get a kick out of seeing people’s expression when you are laughing and they are waiting for the punch line,” said Durant.
“I get calls that don’t seem right and I usually know who it is,” said Mrs. Durant.
Durant’s grandfather was a stand-up comedian for 52 years and his grandmother was a Hollywood actress, so he may have picked up some of his qualities from them.
But at the same time, he realizes that the older he gets, the less time he has to have fun.
When he graduates in December 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in communications, Durant plans to attend the Officer’s Candidate School for Marines in Quantico, Virginia. He chose the school not because he wants to have fun there.
“He has been around me, the Marine Corps and the general and has played sports with them,” said Col. Durant. “As a result, I feel he is comfortable about being around them.”
“I like having structure and a daily routine and having fun,” said Durant. “The more you know about things in life, the more well-rounded you become.”
“Matt is really responsible and caring,” Mrs. Durant said. “He’s a true friend to a lot of people and is growing into a fine young man. I feel so blessed because he is a nice son and a lot of fun to be around.”