Many remember Matt as a passionate Oakland A’s fan, a snowboarder and a dedicated golfer. To Matt’s older brother Adam, however, he was the ideal older brother.“He always put family and friends first,” Adam said. “He was open to anything — always up to try new things and meet new people. For him, there was no limit to what he could do and what he could accomplish.”
Matt Yount, a business administration junior, passed away on Nov. 21 while studying abroad in Spain. Yount and another Cal Poly student jumped into cold, rushing water on their way back from a bar around 3:30 a.m. The current took Yount downstream. His body was found five hours later.
A candlelight vigil for Matt will be held Thursday night in the University Union. The vigil begins at 6 p.m. and will have guest speakers as well as a slideshow in honor of his life.
But before Matt Yount and his friend jumped — unaware of the impact of the water — they held hands.
That’s the kind of person Adam Yount, a business administration sophomore, described his brother as.
“He always put family and friends first,” Adam said. “He was open to anything — always up to try new things and meet new people. For him, there was no limit to what he could do and what he could accomplish.”
Many remember Matt as a passionate Oakland A’s fan, a snowboarder and a dedicated golfer.
To Adam, however, Matt is remembered as the ideal older brother.
“I truly know he’d always be there for me,” Adam said. “I’d talk to him seven days a week when he was in Spain. Before we even discussed the amazing things he was doing living there, he’d first be making sure everything was going OK for me.”
Bram Sciammas, former roommate of Matt for two years and current kinesiology junior reminisced on who he was as a friend for the past six years.
“He was the perfect friend and even the perfect roommate,” Sciammas said. “Overall, he would always be there for me.
“Very adventurous, very outgoing, once anyone would get to know him, they’d instantly become his friend.”
As a person, Matt always wanted to be doing something, Adam said.
“He always wanted to experience life in some sort of way or wanted to try and accomplish something,” Adam said. “He was constantly working hard in both school and life … just doing so much more.”
Matt’s dedication furthered when his career as a Cal Poly golfer began. He joined the team as a walk-on athlete his freshman year (meaning that he was not on scholarship), Adam said.
“He worked harder than almost anyone I know … he put a lot of time and effort into it,” Adam said. “The team meant a lot to him. Even if he wasn’t playing in the tournament, the team was on his mind that day … he really cared.”
As a player for two years, the loss of Matt has impacted the team, golf head coach Scott Cartwright said.
“He was the heart and soul of the team, chemistry-wise,” Cartwright said. “As a hard worker that cherished his teammates, he worried more about his teammates than himself on a lot of instances, and that’s probably the biggest loss.”
Justin Haley, a kinesiology senior and member of the golf team, agreed.
“He was not only a teammate; he was a close friend to many of us,” Haley said. “The team will be different for sure. He’s not going to be forgotten.”
Haley had known Matt for five years, as both of their high schools played golf in the same league.
“He fully lived life in the sense that he’s always looking to have a good time,” he said. “He was always very encouraging; he always had a good time but also wanted everyone else to have a good time, too. He truly cared about the people he loved and wanted them to do well and have a good time whether they’re down or need someone to back them up.”
For Haley, one of Matt’s most memorable traits was his smile.
“His spirit was infectious,” he said. “He had one of those smiles that you couldn’t help but smile (back).”
“He always had a massive smile — little chubby cheeks … I don’t know of anyone that didn’t like Matt,” Cartwright said. “If you didn’t know him, it wouldn’t take long.”
And those chubby-cheeked smiles, his brother said, would just brighten up everyone’s day whenever he’d walk into a room.
“In 20 years he accomplished so much, met so many new people, touched so many people’s hearts, did things people just dream of doing during their entire lifetime,” Adam said.