My favorite things: Matt Doherty


October 31, 2023

by Whitley Adkins

Matt Doherty is perhaps best known as a member of UNC Chapel Hill’s 1982 NCAA championship basketball team and for his college coaching career, starting as an assistant coach at Davidson College under Bob McKillop and including three tumultuous years as the men’s head basketball coach at his alma mater. But did you know he has lived in or around Charlotte, off and on, since 1989?

“I was working on Wall Street. I hated my job, and I always loved Charlotte,” says the Mooresville resident. “I told my boss I was leaving, and I moved into a friend’s house, a rented room in Dilworth. I wanted to get into the real estate business, and I interviewed with a lot of different companies. During that time, I found coaching, and coaching found me.”

Doherty met his wife of 32 years, Kelly, a Concord native, at an Alive After Five concert on the convention center rooftop in 1989. “She was out with her friend, and I was out with a Tar Heel friend of mine… She always says I recruited her.” The couple has two children: Tucker, 26, works at Weber Screwdriving Systems in Mooresville, and Hattie, 24, works at Ralph Lauren in New York City.

Today, Doherty is pursuing all things in the leadership sphere, including the publication of his first book, Rebound: From Pain to Passion; executive coaching; and keynote speaking, where he seeks to help others by sharing personal stories about overcoming adversity. Doherty also makes weekly appearances on local radio stations, hosts a monthly talk show on Bloomberg TV, and produces segments for his own podcast, “Rebound,” where he interviews business and sports leaders. 

Comments have been lightly edited for length. 


Community Matters Cafe near uptown Charlotte.
Community Matters Cafe photograph by Jonathan Cooper

Just behind Bank of America Stadium, Community Matters Cafe is a great space for dinners and fundraisers. I’m a teacher and a coach, so I feel like I can encourage the students working there who are going through a rehab program. I’ve developed a relationship with them, because I feel like they are doing God’s work in the community, and if I can support that in any way, shape or form, it warms my heart. There’s good parking, the food’s good — breakfast, lunch and a coffee shop — and it’s a cool vibe. 

Right: The Vintage, photograph by Peter Taylor


I’m a little obsessed with Lance Nekot crackers. I have them every Wednesday at 4 p.m., when I do a weekly radio show at WBT with Brett Winterble. We cover current events and local, national and international news. We like to entertain and educate, laugh and learn. I also do a weekly show on WFNZ with Kyle Bailey, where we talk sports, mainly basketball, pro and college. 


Living in New York, where can you get that kind of access to water? You have to get on the train and go out to the beaches or rent a car and drive, so to have the beauty of Lake Norman within 20 miles of Charlotte is pretty fascinating. 


My wife Kelly and I go to Novanta restaurant in Langtree a lot. It’s a nice little community with shops and restaurants. They have live music. I also like FlatIron Kitchen + Taphouse in Davidson. The Vintage Whiskey and Cigar Bar in Dilworth is a very nice cigar lounge that used to be an auto garage. I don’t drink, but I like to smoke a cigar when I’m in town. 

Left: South End. Right: Dohertys first book Rebound: From Pain to Passion, was published in 2021.


I like the vibe of South End. It reminds me a lot of Greenwich Village. Good restaurants, the train, young people. We like to go to Barcelona Wine Bar, where they have great tapas.


When you have civic leaders like Johnny Harris and Hugh McColl, then you have the infrastructure in place, you have a great city in the South. … Richard Vinroot, Kieth Cockrell at Bank of America, and Dan Lugo, the President of Queens University — so many great leaders.


Do Greater Charlotte is a great organization helping to educate young people, and, in a safe environment, giving them skills, confidence and hope for a better future. I met the owner William McNeely at an event where I was the host of a panel discussion. We got to talking, and I said, “I’d love to see your place.” He let me know he’s a State grad, and in spite of that, I seemed to like the guy. His brother was a cheerleader at Carolina when I was there. My wife and I recently donated money to purchase a van for the organization to get kids from home to the facility and back.  SP

Featured image courtesy of Doherty Coaching


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