“I feel so fortunate to have Matt as one of our coaches, as he brings great knowledge of the game, passion for his job and a great work ethic,” Morgan said. “He has a great deal of international coaching experience as well as experience coaching at the college level in the United States. Matt has a desire to create the very best experience for the student-athlete and he is committed to creating champions, both on and off the field.”
Johl spent the 2013 season as a volunteer assistant coach at Wake Forest, working alongside Morgan on the coaching staff. During his season with the Demon Deacons, the squad posted a 12-9 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010 and quarterfinals for the first time since 2009. As part of his duties, he assisted with practice planning, video and tactical analysis, coaching of goalkeepers and game day operations.
A native of New Zealand, Johl served as the head coach of the Otago University women from 2011-13. In this time, he helped lead the team to the 2011 championship title and two runner-up finishes in the premier competition. At Otago, Johl coached several players who went on to achieve New Zealand (NZ) representative honors, including a NZ Black Stick, a NZ Black Stick development player, a NZ U21 who played at the 2013 World Cup and two NZ U18 squad members. In 2012, he also served as the assistant coach of the Southern NHL women who placed seventh at the national tournament.
While in New Zealand, Johl also had experience coaching men's teams, serving as the head coach of the 2012-13 Southern regional U18 men that posted a top-four finish at the 2012 national tournament. This contributed to his selection as the 2012 Otago Hockey Association Coach of the Year. Johl served as coach of the Southern regional U21 men in 2013 and led the team to the top four at the national tournament. He also assisted as the videographer for the Southern NHL men at 2012 national championship, where the team finished second. In these roles, Johl coached a number of players who went on to achieve NZ representative honours, including: one NZ Black Stick, four NZ U21 players who competed at the 2013 World Cup and four NZ U18 players.
An accomplished age-group provincial player for Waikato, Johl played six seasons for the Otago University men from 2008-13. He helped the team to 2009 and 2010 championship titles in the premier competition and a silver medal at the 2009 New Zealand University Games. He was selected Otago men's club captain in 2012 and was awarded Otago University Blues in 2013 for his contributions to the sport.
Johl completed a bachelor of physical education in 2011 at Otago with a double major in sport & exercise science and sport & leisure studies. He then went on to obtain a graduate diploma in secondary teaching in 2012. He also attended NZ Level 1 and Level 2 (High Performance) coaching clinics. Johl’s sister Carla Johl played at Kent State (2008-11), and after this insight he made the decision to develop his coaching in the United States.