Matthews in July 2009
November 8, 1953
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Kansas State (assistant)
West Texas State (DB)
Southwest Texas State (DC)
Georgia (DB, LB)
|Head coaching record|
College Football Data Warehouse
|Accomplishments and honors|
FCS National Title (2004)
2 Atlantic 10 (1999, 2004)
AFCA Coach of the Year (FCS – 2004)
Eddie Robinson Award (1999, 2008)
Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year (FCS – 2008)
CAA Coach of the Year (2008)
Michael Chester "Mickey" Matthews (born November 8, 1953) was the fifth head football coach at James Madison University (JMU), serving from 1999 until 2013. During Matthews's tenure, James Madison achieved a Division I-AA national football championship in 2004. His overall coaching record at JMU was 109-71.
Matthews started his coaching career as an assistant coach at Lamar Consolidated High School, in Texas, working with offensive backs. During the 1978 season, he joined Kansas State University, as an assistant coach. During the 1980–1981 seasons, he served as a defensive coordinator of his alma mater West Texas State. From 1982–1985, he became an assistant coach at UTEP. In the following 1986 season, he worked at the University of Houston as a defensive backs coach. In the 1987 season, he held that same position, only at Texas Christian University. During the 1988 and 1989 seasons, he coached at Southwest Texas State. From 1990–1995, he served as the assistant head coach at Marshall University. From 1996–1998 he coached Defensive Backs & Linebackers at the University of Georgia, which won two bowl games under his tenure. While at Georgia he coached Champ Bailey, the nation's top defender and Washington's first-round choice in the 1999 NFL draft. Matthews left Georgia in January 1999 to become Defensive Coordinator at Baylor University but resigned two months later to take the Head Coaching position at James Madison University.
Career at James Madison
From 1999-2013, Matthews was the head coach at James Madison University. The team had gone 3–8 in the year before, but Matthews turned them around that season and led them to an 8–4 record, an Atlantic 10 title, and the school's first postseason appearance since 1995. Matthews won the Eddie Robinson Award that year, annually given to the top head coach in the Football Championship Subdivision of Division 1 football. Five years later, after failing to make the postseason four years in a row, the Dukes finally made the playoffs again. They became the first team to ever win three straight road games and win the National Championship, defeating the University of Montana Grizzlies 31–21. The Dukes would make the playoffs again in 2006 and 2007, losing in the first round each time. On February 25, 2008, amidst rumors of leaving JMU to help start the football program at The University of South Alabama, Matthews signed an extension with JMU to coach through the 2012 season. On September 27, 2008, JMU beat University of Maine 24–10, earning Matthews his 68th career win at JMU to become the school's all-time winningest coach. On November 22, 2008, the Matthews led Dukes defeated Towson University to finish conference play undefeated, winning the CAA outright and qualifying for their third straight FCS playoff appearance. On January 7, 2010, Matthews signed a one year extension to his contract which extended through the 2013 season. During the 2012 season, Matthews gained his 100th career win in a hard fought, 13–10 victory against conference foe Towson.
On November 25, 2013, JMU athletic director Jeff Bourne announced that Matthews had been fired. This came after the Dukes finished the 2013 season 6–6 and missed the FCS playoffs for the fourth time since advancing to the NCAA Semifinals in 2008.
2010 Virginia Tech victory
On September 10, 2010 the Dukes upset then #13 Virginia Tech, 21–16 in front of 66,233 at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg. James Madison became the second FCS team in college football history to knock off a ranked FBS opponent, the other being Appalachian State over then #5 Michigan in 2007. Later that season the Hokies went on to win the ACC Championship and finished ranked #15, making the JMU upset even more remarkable, especially considering that the Dukes finished the season with a 6-5 record (5-5 against FCS competition). After the game, Matthews referred to the victory as "the biggest win in my professional career"--even bigger than the 2004 national championship.
Head coaching record
|James Madison Dukes (Atlantic 10 Conference) (1999–2006)|
|1999||James Madison||8–4||7–1||1st||FCS First Round||12/13|
|2004||James Madison||13–2||7–1||T-1st||W FCS Championship||1|
|2005||James Madison||7–4||5–3||2nd (South)||25|
|2006||James Madison||9–3||7–1||1st (South)||FCS First Round||9|
|James Madison Dukes (Colonial Athletic Association) (2007–present)|
|2007||James Madison||8–4||6–2||2nd (South)||FCS First Round||12|
|2008||James Madison||12–2||8–0||1st (South)||FCS Semi-finals||3|
|2009||James Madison||6–5||4–4||T-5th (South)|
|2011||James Madison||8–5||5–3||T-5th||FCS Second Round||14|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|†Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl, or College Football Playoff (CFP) game.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
- College Football Datawarehouse – James Madison University – Coaching Records
- Coaches Inc Bio
- Matthew's Resume,
- JMU Sports Press Release
- JMU Sports Recap of Win
- Matthews Signs One-Year Extension
- Thorpe's Game-Winning Drive Lifts #5 Football Over #12 Towson, 13–10
- JMU Sports.com press release
- The Washington Post
- SB Nation