The Vista Ridge baseball program will have a smooth transition from one head coach to the next as former assistant Matt Garver was named the new head coach last week.
Garver spent two seasons working with the Rangers’ outfielders and takes over for Jason Bourgeois, who announced he was resigning his position of eight years to take a job in private sector on July 2.
“Especially with a program that has a tradition of winning, it’s easier with people they know,” he said. “We’re keeping a lot of the same things, but we’re changing things to my style. I’m a more aggressive coach offensively and if we have the kids that can play that way, and I think we do, it’ll make us even better.”
Garver grew up in Plano and went back to Metroplex after college to volunteer at Plano West as a baseball coach. He moved to Plano High for a couple years as a volunteer assistant before being named the head varsity assistant back at Plano West in 2013.
After two seasons, he moved to Central Texas and got a job at Henry Middle School and coached the Vista Ridge outfielders for the last two seasons before being named the head coach.
“I’m excited about being able to run my own program,” he said. “That’s been my goal since I got into it. I’m excited to make my impact on these kids and continue the tradition that Vista Ridge has been at.”
In his eight years in charge of the Rangers, Bourgeois made it to the playoffs every season. In his 17-year coaching career — 12 years as a head coach — he’s won 222 games, including more than 150 with Vista Ridge.
“Coach Bourgeois had them in the playoffs eight years in a row, and my job is to make it nine,” Garver said. “We’re going to be young, but I’m excited.”
The rest of the coaching staff will stay the same with the exception of Bourgeois leaving.
Vista Ridge is in a new district alongside Leander, Vandegrift, the six Round Rock schools and Hendrickson, but the expectations have not and will not change.
Garver said the kids in the program has proven that they’re not scared of anybody and can step in and hang with anybody, one example being when the Rangers handed then-No. 1 Lake Travis their first loss of the season late in district play last season.
“We want the kids to play the game the right way,” he said. “From the freshman to the varsity, if everybody’s on the same page and buying into the same ideals, all that kind of stuff falls into place and winning happens.”