Meet Matt Cunningham, CHS’s New Athletic Director

The position of high school athletic director has recently been opened, with the departure of Brad Bush after serving 20 years in his position. While these are some big shoes to fill, Chelsea alumni Matt Cunningham is more than willing to step up to the plate as the new athletic director for Chelsea High School.

“I grew up in Chelsea and spent my entire childhood in Chelsea,” Cunningham said. “From there, I went to Wayne State and played baseball while completing my bachelor’s. After that, I got a master’s in sports administration.”

Cunningham has been no stranger to sports throughout his life. He played baseball all through his time at Chelsea and in college, not to mention his aforementioned master’s in sports administration. Beyond that though, he has experience in the field.

“I’ve always been in athletics, including college athletics,” Cunningham elaborated. “I started a baseball program at the University of Michigan Dearborn and I was their assistant athletic director before going to Chicago.” 

Cunningham has called a range of locations home, from rural Chelsea to the bustling cities of Detroit and Chicago. He doesn’t have a preference, but he will always appreciate his hometown. 

“I’m pretty flexible and adaptable to wherever I need to live, but I like a smaller community. Not just any community though; it’s a community that tries to put our youth in a position to succeed in life.”

Despite his incredible track record, and current residency in Chicago, Cunningham is very excited to return to his roots in Chelsea.

“Chelsea takes care and pride in both their school system and athletic programs,” he articulated. “To be able to come home and continue the great work and foundations laid before me is very exciting.”

As for his new position as athletic director, Cunningham has a few goals in mind. 

“Short term, I just want to get settled and get to know everybody,” Cunningham explained. “In the long term, I want to continue the success of Chelsea students.”

Cunningham plans to not only use his experience from college, but his Chelsea alumni pride to shape the athletic program. He wants to keep an open mind and acknowledges anything can happen during his time as Chelsea’s athletic director.

“I think athletics at every level evolves,” Cunningham explained. “When I went to Chelsea, there were over a thousand kids and less opportunities for extracurriculars than there are now. On paper, that doesn’t seem like a normal projection. You never know what’s going to happen.” 

No matter what happens, though, Cunningham is willing to always put in his best effort to give back to the community that raised him. 

“I feel like I had such great people around me that helped me develop and grow and set me up for future success, this is a chance for me to pay that forward and to invest my time into trying to give that same experience back to students and student-athletes,” Cunningham said. “And so that, to me, is such a great calling.”