Meet the new DJDS Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach - Matan Halzel (Class of 2012)

Meet the new DJDS Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach - Matan Halzel (Class of 2012)
  • Athletics
Josh Lake

By Josh Lake, Athletic Director


The defending state champion Denver Jewish Day School Tigers have hired a new head coach for their varsity boys basketball team. Matan Halzel, who is an alumnus (Class of 2012) and former player will be taking over the program for the 2023-24 season. With his experience and familiarity with the school's basketball program, he will continue to grow his deep understanding of the team's history, traditions, and values. This will lead to a seamless transition and an exciting future to look forward to. 


As a former player, Matan has a unique perspective on what it takes to succeed on the court, and he will use his experience to help guide and motivate his players. Additionally, his connection to the school and the community will certainly inspire players to work harder and strive for excellence.


Coach Matan Halzel embraces Gavin Foonberg (Class of 2023) after DJDS secures their first birth into the Class 1A Colorado State Tournament.


“I am thrilled and honored for this opportunity,” said Halzel. “This is an exciting time for the DJDS basketball program, and I can’t wait to get started.”


It's exciting to think about the success that Coach Halzel can bring to the team given what his last few seasons as Associate Head Coach have produced. With his leadership and knowledge of the game, he will be able to help the team continue to reach their potential and continue the winning tradition that has been established.


“My first priority is to help prepare and raise fine young Jewish men before they head off into the real world,” said Halzel. “But my second priority is to maintain the success and consistency of this program. I want to keep basketball relevant at DJDS for a very long time.”


Matan attended DJDS from 8th - 12th grade and played at the Varsity level for all three sports. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor's in Communications. He has worked at DJDS in the marketing and admission departments for the past seven years, and coaching basketball is one of his passions.


Matan will succeed longtime former Head Coach, Michael Foonberg, who won a state title with DJDS last season to cap off his 17-year coaching career at DJDS. Matan spent six seasons as Coach Foonberg’s top assistant coach, and Coach Foonberg retired from coaching in March 2023. 


From left to right:

Assistant Coach, Sam Rotbart (Class of 2010), Coach Michael Foonberg, Assistant Coach, Todd Tyrrell, Head Coach Matan Halzel


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