NEWS: Matt Thacker set to become new head football coach at Wawasee for 2024 season

Feb. 1—SYRACUSE — A familiar name will be on a different sideline for the 2024 high school football season.

Announced by Wawasee Community Schools Thursday, Feb. 1, former Fairfield head football coach Matt Thacker will be on his way to Syracuse pending board approval Feb. 13.

Wawasee athletic director Brent Doty said in a press release sent to media members Thursday: "Coach Thacker's approach to leadership, his clear vision for the future, and his genuine care for his players resonate deeply with our school's values. He's all about encouraging our students to excel, not just on the field, but in every aspect of their lives. His knack for building strong connections and his dedication to community service are exactly what we value here at Wawasee."

Thacker took over at Fairfield before the 2018 football season. Finishing winless his first season, Thacker took the Falcons to a 6-6 finish in 2019 before his team went 9-1 in 2020, winning the Northeast Corner Conference Big Division in his third year.

His team in 2021 finished 4-6 but 3-1 in the NECC Big Division before going 5-5 in 2022 and 6-5 this past season.

Through his six years in Benton, Thacker held a combined 30-32 overall record.

Fairfield athletic director Mark Engle release a statement on Fairfield's X account (@FHSFalconsScores) saying: "Coach has done a great job from top to bottom. Without a doubt he is leaving Fairfield in a better place then he was hired. He was a great leader and had a heart for Fairfield. He will be missed and we wish him well down the road."

Also in the release Thacker stated that "this area has always felt like home to me. I've been eager to be more involved in Wawasee's athletics and wider community."

The Warriors haven't won more than three games since 2016 when they finished 4-6. The last time Wawasee won the Northern Lakes Conference was in 2004.

Last year's head coach, Jon Reutebuch, parted ways from the position following the conclusion of the 2023 season in which the Warriors finished 2-9 but won their first sectional game since 2012. Reutebuch was 9-42 in his five years with the program.

Wawasee is the second team in The Goshen News' area to have a new head coach for the 2024 season following Goshen's hire of Joseph Hecklinski in early January.

Fairfield becomes the latest school to look for a new leader heading into next season.

Reach Matt Lucas at 574-533-2151, ext. 240325, or at