Matthew P. Hearn, a former Dulaney High School lacrosse star who was working as a marketing consultant for a Salt Lake City television station, died July 13 as a result of a climbing accident in Utah.
He was 26.
Mr. Hearn and several friends were climbing Cottonwood Canyon on Storm Mountain near Salt Lake City when he fell from the summit.
“They had gotten to the top and were preparing to come back down when Matt fell 100 feet. He died there,” said his father, Frederick W. “Bill” Hearn Jr. of Timonium, a commercial property manager with Jones Lang LaSalle, a lacrosse coach, and a former staff member of the Lacrosse Foundation.
“Matt was absolutely outstanding as an employee who always gave 110 percent. He was just terrific,” said Kent Crawford, general manager of KUTV in Salt Lake City. “He was such an outstanding person in so many areas. His loss is devastating, and we’re still reeling from it.”
Matthew Perry Hearn, whose mother is Annette L. Perry Hearn, assistant principal at Sollers Point High School in Dundalk, was born in Baltimore and raised in Timonium, where as a youngster he began playing lacrosse for the Cockeysville Recreation Council.
While a student at Dulaney High School, Mr. Hearn played midfield on the lacrosse team and was a member of the 2008 squad that won a Maryland state championship.
During his high school years, Mr. Hearn went to work for Aloha Tournaments, which organizes lacrosse tournaments around the country.
“Matt was looking for a job when he was in high school, and he came to us as we were growing the business,” said Chris Hutchins, who founded the Phoenix, Baltimore County-based business with Ray Schulmeyer in 2001.
“He was a typical high school kid with a big smile on his face who had a great disposition. He’d do anything we asked and he always had a great attitude. He played a big part in making us successful,” Mr. Hutchins said. “Through his high school years, like all kids, he had his challenges, but I loved the way he always bounced back.”
After graduating from Dulaney in 2009, Mr. Hearn began his college studies at Salisbury University, and after completing his freshman year, transferred to the Community College Of Baltimore County’s Essex campus, where he continued playing lacrosse as a defensive midfielder.
“I didn’t really see lacrosse as being something I needed to do in college,” Mr. Hearn told Lacrosse Magazine in a 2012 interview. “I started focusing more on school, getting my associate’s degree and moving on. I really had plans of getting out of Baltimore.”
Mason Goodhand, a Towson native and head lacrosse coach at Westminster College, a Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association Division II program in Salt Lake City, was speaking to Mr. Hutchins one day about a proposed lacrosse tournament in Las Vegas.
“Whether he was patronizing me or genuinely interested in my cause, [Mr. Hutchins] said the East Coast was full of kids who went to a place for a year and found out that they weren’t going to be ‘the guy,’ and the MCLA could be perfect for them,” Mr. Goodhand told Lacrosse Magazine. “And he had a guy named Matt Hearn working for him. He had just finished up at Essex and wasn’t happy.”
Mr. Goodhand persuaded Mr. Hearn to attend a lacrosse camp at Westminster; and Mr. Hearn was so taken with the lacrosse program that he entered Westminster in 2012.
“Matt wanted to do something different and wanted new challenges,” Mr. Hutchins said. “I said to him, ‘Westminster College? Ever think of that?’ So, I connected him with the coach, and he went west and blossomed there.”
“I fell in love,” Mr. Hearn recalled in the magazine interview. “Salt Lake City is a great place, and the mountains are awesome. I get to play lacrosse again for a competitive team, which I really didn’t think was the way it was going to be.”
Mr. Hearn played attack at Westminster, and during the 2012 season scored 42 goals and had 13 assists.
“He was one of our hardest workers in the fall and never had that ‘I’m an East Coast, Baltimore kid’ attitude,” Mr. Goodhand said in the interview. “It was always ‘yes sir,’ and ‘no sir,’ first one to show up and the last to leave. The guys on the team elected him as offensive captain after our fall ball, and he’s been really strong. My hat is off to him because a lot of kids who are transplanted from East to West begin with a little more condescending attitude, and he has never shown that.”
“Matt was a scrappy player and a behind-the-scenes kind of guy who didn’t need to be the big goal scorer,” Mr. Hutchins said. “And as a player, he always did what he was asked to do.”
After graduating from Westminster in 2014, Mr. Hearn went to work for the CBS affiliate KUTV as an account executive.
Mr. Hearn had recently been named Marketing Consultant of the Year, the second time he had won the award during his three-year career at KUTV.
“Matt was everything you could possibly have wanted in an employee. He was the first one here in the morning and the last to leave,” Mr. Crawford said. “He had a great attitude and always wanted to help. He volunteered for things. He was an incredible marketing consultant, and his clients loved him.”
Mr. Hearn continued his interest in lacrosse, serving as offensive coordinator for East High School in Salt Lake City.
“His knowledge was off the charts,” Pete Idstrom, East High School head lacrosse coach, said in an interview with Utah Lacrosse News. “He was well respected around here in a short amount of time.”
Mr. Idstrom praised Mr. Hearn not only as a gifted coach, but as a mentor to his players.
“He never would get on them personally or make anything personal when players wouldn’t do what he wanted them to do. He was always very positive,” Mr. Idstrom said. “It’s a huge loss for us.”
“He had lacrosse in his blood and he wanted to pass it on to new kids. He was always willing to help someone,“ Mr. Hutchins said.
This year, Mr. Hearn was named the Utah High School Lacrosse League’s Assistant Coach of the Year..
In addition to rock climbing, Mr. Hearn was an avid snowboarder.
“The outdoors was his church. He loved being outdoors and active,” his father said.
“It always hurts to lose someone at that age,” Mr. Hutchins said. “But Matt had a great life and was doing what he wanted to do.”
A celebration of Mr. Hearn’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in Kraushaar Auditorium on the Goucher College campus, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Hearn is survived by a sister, Sarah Frances Hearn of Cockeysville; paternal grandparents Frederick William Hearn of Hunt Valley and Patricia Hearn Blanchard of Mays Chapel; maternal grandmother Frances Phillips Perry of Parkville; his partner, Caitlin Michael Lemmon of Salt Lake City; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.