Don Matthews

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Don Matthews
Sport(s) Gridiron football
Biographical details
Born (1939-06-22) June 22, 1939 (age 75)
Amesbury, Massachusetts
Playing career
1960–1963 Idaho
Position(s) Linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1964
1965
1966–1968
1969–1970
1971-1973
1974-1976
1977
1978–1982
1983–1987
1989
1990
1991
1991–1993
1994–1995
1996–1998
1999–2000
2002–2006
2008
Idaho (GA)
Ely HS (NV) (assistant)
Ely HS (NV)
Ferris HS (WA)
Idaho (OC/OL)
Sunset HS
Edmonton Eskimos (LB)
Edmonton Eskimos (DC)
BC Lions
Edmonton Eskimos (DC)
Toronto Argonauts
Orlando Thunder
Sask. Roughriders
Baltimore Stallions
Toronto Argonauts
Edmonton Eskimos
Montreal Alouettes
Toronto Argonauts
Head coaching record
Overall 231–132–1 (CFL)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
Grey Cups (5): 73rd, 83rd, 84th, 85th, 90th

Awards

Records
2nd highest win total by CFL coach

Don Matthews, a.k.a. "The Don", (born June 22, 1939) is a former head coach of several teams in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He won 231 games in the CFL, the second highest win total by a head coach in the league's history. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in September 2011.

College[edit]

From a large family of limited means and education, Matthews quit high school in Amesbury after his senior season of football in 1956 and served three years in the U.S. Marine Corps.[1] He returned home and earned his high school diploma and then on the advice of a teacher, ventured west in 1960 as a 21-year-old freshman to Moscow, Idaho. He walked-on at Idaho as a linebacker on the freshman team;[2] he was awarded a scholarship by varsity head coach Skip Stahley after his first semester. He earned three letters and was a team captain in his senior season of 1963, when the Vandals, in their second year under Dee Andros, achieved their first winning season in a quarter century.[3] Matthews graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in education in 1964.[1][4][5]

Early career[edit]

Matthews was a graduate assistant for the Vandals in Moscow for the 1964 season under Andros and freshman coach Bud Riley.[6] Matthews then coached high school football in Ely, Nevada for four years and won a state title. He relocated to Spokane, Washington in 1969 as head coach at Ferris, where he led the Saxons to the city title in his second and final year.[7] Matthews became a collegiate assistant coach back at his alma mater in 1971 as offensive line coach (later as offensive coordinator), under second-year head coach Don Robbins.[4] After an 0-2 start, the Vandals finished at 8-3 in 1971, which included an eight-game winning streak, and won the Big Sky title. At the time it was the best record in school history, and three seniors were selected in the 1972 NFL Draft. Two years later, Robbins was fired following the 1973 season and Matthews moved to the Portland area. He took over a winless program at Sunset High School in Beaverton, Oregon, and won consecutive state championships in 1975 and 1976, going undefeated in his third and final year.[1] He left Sunset after the 1976 season to become a CFL assistant coach in Edmonton, Alberta.

Pro coaching career[edit]

Matthews was formerly head coach of the CFL's BC Lions, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Baltimore Stallions, Toronto Argonauts, Edmonton Eskimos, and Montreal Alouettes. He was also head coach of the Montreal Machine of the World League of American Football in 1991.

In October 2006, Matthews stepped down as head coach of the Alouettes expressing undisclosed health issues that were "affecting his ability to perform".[8]

In May 2008, Matthews was announced as an advisor to the Jeff Hunt-led group's conditional Ottawa franchise.[9]

Don Matthews returned to Toronto on September 9, 2008 as the interim coach for the Argonauts, after they started the season with a 4–6 record.[10] In that press conference, Matthews revealed that the major health reason that caused him to step down as head coach of the Alouettes was an anxiety disorder. He also went further to say that he had been prescribed to some medication and the anxiety attacks are now under control.[11][12]

Matthews' mother, Ida, was a francophone from Tracadie, New Brunswick, while his father, Fred, was from Prince Edward Island. Matthews has three sons and six grandchildren. In 2004, Matthews became a Canadian citizen.[13]

On October 31, 2008, he resigned from the Argonauts a day after the conclusion of the Argonauts 2008 regular season, which saw the Argos fail to win a game in the eight games under his leadership and finishing out of the playoffs for the first time since the 2001 CFL season.[14]

Matthews resides in Oregon[1] and was selected for induction in the Builder category into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame on February 10, 2011.[15]

On November 5, 2012, Matthews announced he was battling cancer and therefore would not be able to participate in any of the festivities for the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto.[16]

The Montreal Alouettes announced on July 30, 2014 that Matthews had joined the team in a coaching consultant role for the second consecutive year.

Coaching records[edit]

Don Matthews holds several coaching records:

  • Most Grey Cup appearances (9 - tied)
  • Most Grey Cup wins (5 – tied)

He also has an additional five Grey Cup titles as defensive co-ordinator of the Edmonton Eskimos.

CFL head coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
BC 1983 11 5 0 .688 1st in West Division 1 1 Lost in Grey Cup
BC 1984 12 3 1 .800 1st in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Finals
BC 1985 13 3 0 .813 1st in West Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
BC 1986 12 6 0 .667 2nd in West Division 1 1 Lost in Division Finals
BC 1987 8 6 0 .573 1st in West Division (fired)
TOR 1990 10 8 0 .556 2nd in East Division 1 1 Lost in Division Finals
SSK 1991 5 6 0 .455 4th in West Division Missed Playoffs
SSK 1992 9 9 0 .500 3rd in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
SSK 1993 11 7 0 .611 3rd in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
BAL 1994 12 6 0 .667 2nd in East Division 2 1 Lost in Grey Cup
BAL 1995 15 3 0 .833 1st in East Division 3 0 Won Grey Cup
TOR 1996 15 3 0 .833 1st in East Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
TOR 1997 15 3 0 .833 1st in East Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
TOR 1998 9 9 0 .500 3rd in East Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
EDM 1999 6 12 0 .333 3rd in East Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
EDM 2000 10 8 0 .556 2nd in East Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
MTL 2002 13 5 0 .722 1st in East Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
MTL 2003 13 5 0 .722 1st in East Division 1 1 Lost in Grey Cup
MTL 2004 14 4 0 .778 1st in East Division 0 1 Lost in Division Finals
MTL 2005 10 8 0 .556 2nd in East Division 2 1 Lost in Grey Cup
MTL 2006 8 6 0 .571 1st in East Division (stepped down)
TOR 2008 0 8 0 .000 3rd in East Division missed playoffs
Team Totals
BC 1983–1987 56 23 1 .700 4 West Division
Championships
4 3 1 Grey Cup
TOR 1990, 1996–
1998, 2008
49 31 0 .613 2 East Division
Championships
5 2 2 Grey Cups
SSK 1991–1993 25 22 0 .532 0 West Division
Championships
0 2 0 Grey Cups
BAL 1994–1995 27 9 0 .750 1 East Division
Championship
5 1 1 Grey Cup
EDM 1999–2000 16 20 0 .444 0 West Division
Championships
0 2 0 Grey Cups
MTL 2002–2006 58 28 0 .674 4 East Division
Championships
5 2 1 Grey Cup
Total 231 133 1 .633 11 Division
Championships
19 13 5 Grey Cups

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Portland Tribune - A new game plan for famed coach - 2010-02-11
  2. ^ "Vandal babe standouts". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1961. p. 154. 
  3. ^ "Football". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1964. p. 255. 
  4. ^ a b Go Vandals.com - lifetime achievement - Don Matthews - accessed 2011-10-22
  5. ^ Lawton, James (January 15, 1983). "Matthews has travelled a long, tough highway". Vancouver Sun. p. E1. 
  6. ^ "Football". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1965. p. 252. 
  7. ^ Spokane Daily Chronicle - Ferris coach takes post as aide with Vandals - 1971-01-29 p.15
  8. ^ "Als coach Matthews resigns". CBC Sports. 2006-10-04. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  9. ^ Brennan, Don (2008-09-12). "Hunt: Matthews inspired by Kilrea". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved September 12, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Argos fire Stubler, bring back Matthews". CBC Sports. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  11. ^ http://www.thespec.com/News/BreakingNews/article/432213
  12. ^ O’Connor, Joe (2008-10-29). "Argos' Matthews winning battle with anxiety". National Post (Canada). Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  13. ^ "Alouettes hammer Renegades at the Big O". CBC News. 2004-10-23. 
  14. ^ "Matthews quits as Argos coach". CBC Sports. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  15. ^ "Canadian Football Hall of Fame announces Class of 2011," Canadian Football Hall of Fame & Museum, Thursday, February 10, 2011.
  16. ^ "Don Matthews battling cancer". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 

External links[edit]