Sports taught Matt Roggenburk '86 some big lessons.
“Life has good days and tough days. Sports teach you how to prepare for the task at hand and the game of the day. It teaches humility. There’s nothing better than winning, but how do you handle the losses?”
Matt began learning these lessons early, from his father Garry Roggenburk '58, who played baseball and basketball at University of Dayton and pitched for the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox. The family moved to Florida when Matt was 10 so his father could be General Manager for the Red Sox minor league team and also Spring Training coordinator for the Boston Red Sox. A Saint Ignatius basketball fan since childhood, Matt was thrilled when his family moved back to Cleveland and he enrolled as a sophomore.
“I didn’t know a lot of kids and the Jesuits really took me in,” recalls Matt.
He describes a special group of teachers and administrators who deeply influenced him, including Rev. Don Serva, S.J., Rev. Robert Welsh, S.J. ’54, Jim Skerl ’74, and Marty Dybicz ’72. And he still cherishes lifelong friendships made on Saint Ignatius baseball, basketball and tennis teams.
In basketball, Matt was a three-year letter winner and credits much of his success to outstanding teammates and coach Larry Arthur, Hon '19. As a junior he averaged 10.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 2.3 APG as the Cats went 20-4 and earned a spot in the Sweet 16. The team ranked #1 in the state during the season and #11 nationally by USA Today. The lone returning starter his senior season, Matt averaged 16.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 3.8 APG and led Saint Ignatius to the Regional semi-finals. He earned First Team All-Scholastic, First Team All-District and First Team All-State, was named West Side Sun MVP, Cleveland Plain Dealer Independent MVP and participated in the Ohio North-South All Star Basketball game.
In tennis, Matt found a different group of friends in a sport learned while living in Florida. “Tennis is an individual sport. Win or lose, you can’t blame the ref or coach. It’s you against the other player.” A two-year letter-winner, he led the tennis squad to a league championship his junior year as a District qualifier and All Sun West Performer. He has fond memories of practicing at courts along the Shoreway in blustery Cleveland springs.
Gravitating toward a Jesuit college, Matt attended Creighton University on a basketball scholarship. He played in an NCAA tournament his junior year and was proud to be part of a team that brought Creighton’s program back to among the country’s top 50.
Matt met his wife in Omaha and started a career in the pharmaceutical industry in both sales leadership and marketing. He has worked for Johnson & Johnson and other companies and is currently National Account Director for Bayer Oncology.
With children also involved in sports, Matt says “Sports has taught us if you want to achieve a goal and be a champion, there’s a lot of road work that goes into that.” He is grateful for his Saint Ignatius education, with people who “walk the walk” and ingrained in him the importance of having a relationship with God. “That’s been a big part of our family. I tell my kids, without that, it’s not a good place to be. I was lucky to have good examples in my parents, my in-laws and a special group of teachers at Saint Ignatius.”
Matt and his wife Colleen live in Avon Lake. Their children are Matt Jr. ’15 (23), Alyssa (22), and Anna (19).