|Matthew Haskamp. Photo: Linkedin|
Since that time, Highlands has won 14 state championships. The vaunted football program has won seven state championships in the last eight years with the girls cross country and track teams winning three titles each. The boys track team won the AA title last spring.
Haskamp hopes to see the state championships coming among other developments when he moves into his new position in the school system July 1. Haskamp was just named the school's new Director of Athletics and Assistant Principal. He will take over for retiring Director of Athletics Dale Mueller.
"I am extremely excited that Matt is going to be our new Director of Athletics/Assistant Principal," Mueller said. "He has already demonstrated that he does a great job as a teacher, coach, guidance counselor and administrator. I have great respect for him because he is a hard worker who truly cares about the students and the Fort Thomas Schools."
Haskamp has been the principal at Moyer Elementary for three years. Haskamp served as Assistant Principal at Highlands for years prior to that between 2008 and 2012. He taught Health and Physical Education at the high school his first year at the high school.
Haskamp would be the first to tell people those titles have been won with not the greatest facilities. But that has begun to change in the last couple years and Haskamp will have a hand in those and other developments.
"With the growth of our programs, student enrollment and addition of fantastic new facilities, we are very much in need of a leader who is enthusiastic about our community, school and success of our programs," said Brian Robinson, Highlands High School Principal. "He is highly motivated to move our athletic programs and learning environment forward. We are excited to welcome him."
Over the last couple years, new synthetic turf was installed at Tower Park in 2012 and the new field house is near completion. The school is also undertaking renovations of the High School Gym and the football field turf. The football field turf was installed in 2002. The softball team also has a new field at Winkler Park next to Woodfill Elementary.
"What (Mueller and staff) has been able to accomplish is unbelievable," Haskamp said. "You'd be hard-pressed to find another public school district around that has been as successful as the Fort Thomas Independent School District athletically and academically. We have a great football program, track program, soccer and basketball. We have great people in those roles. Now we have the facilities to match all those things. That is a great advantage."
Since he came to town, Haskamp has enjoyed the community involvement with the school system. There are many examples of how they have helpful throughout the years such as volunteering at school events.
"The job is to remove barriers in the way of not just the coaches, but the community so they can be the best they can," Haskamp said. "This is a competitive town and district. Parents want the absolute best for their kids. I feel that we have the ability to offer that. If I can be a small piece in making that happen. that's where I want to be. I love everything about sports. I love the competitive nature of them. I love how it makes our kids become better people."
Haskamp worked at Covington Catholic between 2001 and 2007. He served as an assistant football coach for the Colonels from 2001 to 2006 under Lynn Ray and John Rodenberg. Haskamp served as the Head Freshmen coach before becoming a varsity assistant and coaching the running backs and offensive linemen.
Haskamp became a teacher at CovCath in 2003 upon receiving his Bachelors Degree from Northern Kentucky University in Health and Physical Education. He also served as Guidance Counselor and the Assistant Director of Athletics under longtime CovCath A.D. Mike Guidugli for two years.
Haskamp is looking forward to transitioning back to the high school. He earned his Master's Degree in Leadership from the University of Cincinnati in 2008.
"I'm really comfortable with high school," Haskamp said. "I'm familiar with most of the faculty. I know most of the coaches. I've built relationships with them. The biggest transition is going to be learning the ins and outs of how all the sports operate and where I best fit in to help the programs to the greatest levels we can achieve."
Haskamp grew up in nearby Fort Wright. But his family relocated when he got older. He graduated from Wilmington (Massachusetts) High School in 1997. His wife's name is Katie and the couple has a daughter Julianne.