NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It is with deep sadness that the Lipscomb athletic department announces that rising sophomore Matt Deery, a track and field standout, lost his life in an automobile accident in Upper Nazareth Township, Pa., on Wednesday afternoon.
An All-Atlantic Sun Conference honoree for the Bisons in just his first season of competition, Deery was honored by his teammates and coaches as “Freshman of the Year” and as the “Fightin’ Bison” award recipient given to the toughest competitor on the team.
“Matt was an incredible athlete and an even more incredible person,” Lipscomb track and field head coach Bill Taylor said. “Everyone loved him. He was a smart, caring, likable guy. He was a gifted athlete, yet he was so humble.
"It's really hard to comprehend this right now. Matt was a wonderful person with a gigantic future. He is going to be greatly missed by everyone who knew him. I know our entire team is praying for his family, his friends and each other."
Deery became the first Lipscomb field athlete in school history to earn second-team all-conference honors at the A-Sun indoor championships this past season with a second-place pole vault of 4.55m (14’ 11”). The Philipsburg, N.J., native went on to earn a bronze medal in the heptathlon at the A-Sun meet earning 4,889 points that set a school record.
“We are obviously heartbroken for Matt's family and friends and I ask that you please be in prayer for comfort and peace all of those who will be grieving over his loss,” said Lipscomb director of athletics Philip Hutcheson. “Matt was a very special student-athlete and words are inadequate to describe how difficult this is for the Lipscomb family.”
Record-setting performances continued throughout the outdoor season for Deery as well including a school-best 14.86s mark in the 110m hurdles at the A-Sun outdoor championships. That performance propelled Deery into the 110m finals where he finished second.
All told this past season, Deery broke school records in the indoor and outdoor pole vault, 60m hurdles, 110m hurdles and the heptathlon along with earning A-Sun All-Academic honors for his work.
The consummate teammate, Deery regularly competed in five or six events each meet for the Bisons preparing for a future in the decathlon but when called upon would jump in and run a leg of the 4x400m relay.
“Every time Matt competed, the whole team could see that he held nothing back,” said Taylor in honoring Deery with the “Fightin’ Bison” award in June. “He has the utmost respect from the coaches and his teammates for his fighting spirit, toughness and attitude.”
Funeral services will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Doyle-Devlin Funeral Home, 695 Corliss Ave., Phillipsburg, N.J. Visitation will be held Saturday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the funeral home. Interment will be in Greenwich Cemetery in Greenwich Township.
Visit the LU Track and Field Facebook page to leave any comments for the family, staff and team.