Lipscomb mourns loss of track and field standout Deery
By Jamie Gilliam on 8/2/2012
The Lipscomb University athletic department announced Wednesday 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, Aug. 1.
Below is a note from Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry to the Lipscomb community regarding this tragic death:
As we look forward with enthusiasm to the beginning of our 122nd academic year, we were deeply saddened to learn yesterday of the tragic death of Matt Deery, a rising Lipscomb University sophomore. Matt was killed in an automobile accident near his hometown of Phillipsburg, N.J., Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 1.
To provide an opportunity for the Lipscomb community to honor Matt and his family, we anticipate that there will be a memorial service on campus soon after school begins. Like we did in a similar circumstance two years ago, we also anticipate planting a tree on campus and establishing an endowed scholarship in Matt's memory. Details about these efforts will be shared with the Lipscomb community as they are finalized.
Details on the funeral and additional information on Matt are below. As you go through this weekend, please remember this family: Matt's father, Tom Deery; his mother, Dawn Dalrymple; and his two brothers, Eric Deery and Daniel Pantuso.
In the difficult times for our community it is reassuring that those closest to the loss reach out to others with care and compassion. To the extent that anyone would benefit by the support of our counseling staff, it is ready to be helpful. Just call Cathy Lincoln, at 615.966.6294, who will make the arrangements for you.
Watch the Memorial service
Details of the Funeral
Sign the Guestbook | Devlin Funeral Home
View the Guestbook | Devlin Funeral Home
Obituary For: Matthew Richard Deery | Devlin Funeral Home
Details on Matt’s accomplishments at Lipscomb University
WSMV Channel 4 story on Matt accomplishments and passing
Funeral services will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Doyle-Devlin Funeral Home, 695 Corliss Ave., Phillipsburg, NJ. Visitation will be held Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m. in the funeral home. Interment will be in Greenwich Cemetery in Greenwich Township.
A guestbook has been setup on the funeral home site where remarks and condolences can be made.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to Phillipsburg High School, c/o Guidance Office, 200 Hillcrest Blvd., Phillipsburg, to establish a scholarship fund in Deery's memory.
Lipscomb mourns loss of track and field standout Deery
Click here for additional biographical information
The Lipscomb University athletic department announced today 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, Aug. 1.
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.”
Biographical Information on Matt Deery
Matthew (Matt) Richard Deery
Phillipsburg, N.J. – 19 years old
Father: Tom Deery (College Football Hall of Fame Member, played professionally for the Baltimore Colts and Philadelphia Eagles)
Mother: Dawn Dalrymple
Brothers: Eric Deery, Daniel Pantuso
High School: Philipsburg High School (Phillipsburg, N.J.)
Achievements: Earned the Phillipsburg High School “Founder’s Award” as the top male athlete following his senior year. Finished sixth last summer in the pole vault in the New Balance Nationals, NJSIAA Group 4 boys pole vault champion, two-time runner up at the New Jersey “Meet of Champions, Warren Co. pole vault record holder. Also starred in football as a wide receiver and cornerback.
- Claimed five Bison school records as a freshman (Indoor Pole Vault, Outdoor Pole Vault, 60-meter hurdles (indoor), 110m hurdles (outdoor), heptathlon (indoor).
- Ranked as the No. 2 outdoor pole vaulter in the A-Sun with a Lipscomb record 4.72m (15’ 5.75”) clearance at the Rhodes Open.
- Broke the Lipscomb 110m hurdles record with a 14.86s run in the prelims before earning a silver medal and all-conference honors in the finals.
- Made two trips to the podium at the A-Sun indoor championships earning a silver medal in the pole vault with a 4.72m (15’ 7”) record-setting performance.
- Earned Atlantic Sun Conference All-Academic honors for his work in the classroom.
- Named “Fightin’ Bison” award winner as team’s toughest competitor.
- Named top male freshman via vote of coaches and teammates.
- Was called upon at times to run the 4x400 meter relay on top of his 5-7 other events.
"Everybody referred to him as superman because he was such a great athlete," said Dylan McManus, a close friend and Phillipsburg High School graduate. "He was just an all star, knew how to put a smile on everybody's face. He was just a great kid."