Former Chiefs head coach Frank Gansz had lasting impact on kicker Matt Szymanski

Posted Jul 12, 2012

Szymanski handled both kicking and punting duties under Gansz at SMU

#14 Matt Szymanski — Kicker — Southern Methodist


Szymanski played in 52 career games — 26 at Texas A&M and 26 at SMU. He converted 35 of 58 career field goal attempts (60.3 percent). He also punted 123 times for 5,105 yards (average of 41.5 yards) with a career-long 74-yard punt.  He was rated the No. 1 high school kicker at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, Texas.

Must-See Stat:

As a placekicker, Szymanski never missed a PAT. He was a perfect 131-for-131 over four years at both Texas A&M and SMU.

Chiefs Nation Should Know:

Attending Texas A&M seemed like a no-brainer to Matt Szymanski.

Szymanski grew up in College Station, home of the Aggies. He bonded with coaches during two summer kicking camps put on by the A&M football program. And when he nailed a 61-yard field goal in the state semifinals—the longest field goal in Texas 5A playoff history—those A&M coaches were watching from the stands.

So, the kicker did what everyone expected. He left high school early to enroll at Texas A&M.

“That season at A&M was great,” said Szymanski, who spent two seasons as an Aggie. “But I wanted something more out of the whole college experience.”

The kicker found what he was looking for in Southern Methodist University, a three-hour drive from his hometown. Rather than transfer to another Big 12 school and sit out two seasons, Szymanski could step into the kicking duties at SMU after one season.

Moreover, he would have an extended role as a Mustang.

The late Frank Gansz, who served as Kansas City’s head coach from 1987-88, was SMU’s special teams coach at the time. It was Gansz who gave Szymanski a promise no other school could offer. 

“He told me he wanted me to handle all the kicking duties,” Szymanski recalled. “The chance to punt, as well as handle kickoffs and field goals was really the selling point.”

Tom Morstead had handled those three jobs at SMU in 2008. But when the Saints drafted him in the fifth round of the 2009 Draft, Gansz needed someone to replace him.

Szymanski quickly proved he could do just that. In the 2009 season opener against Nevada, he hit a 61-yard field goal, averaged 45 yards per punt, and had two touchbacks.

That versatility helped Szymanski find his next kicking gig—a backup punter and kicker with the Chiefs.

“I think they (the Chiefs) liked that I can come in and do a lot of things in the kicking game,” said Szymanski. “ I’m here to help out and we’ll see what happens.”

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