In 1969, Mathews graduated from Drake University, where he was a pitcher on the Drake baseball team. He was a high school and junior college baseball coach, as well as a part-time scout for the Kansas City Royals (1971–74) and Philadelphia Phillies (1974–77). He then became a minor league manager in the Kansas City organization, with posts in Charleston (1981), Ft. Myers (1982–83), Memphis (1984) and Eugene (1987). He also was Kansas City's Assistant Director of Player Development (1985–86). From 1988 to 1990, Mathews was the Royals' traveling minor league instructor.
Mathews joined the Rockies in the summer of 1992 as the pitching coach at Mesa of the Arizona Rookie League. He was then slated to work at Bend the following season but coached in the big league bullpen for most of the year. He was Colorado's bullpen coach for a large portion of the inaugural season of 1993 and then again in 1995. He then spent seven years as Colorado's roving minor league pitching coordinator before his third stint on the Rockies' Major League staff.
Mathews is currently a pro scout for the Rockies based in Centerville, Iowa. During a ceremony at city hall on Friday morning, November 9, 2007, Mayor Greg Fenton proclaimed “Rick Mathews Day” in Centerville. The proclamation was spearheaded by former CHS classmate Kris Koestner. Mathews graduated from Centerville High School in 1965 and was cited in the weeks following the Rockies' 2007 National League championship season. Mathews was honored with the proclamation for his many years of dedication and helping the community of Centerville and also for his success in Major League Baseball.
“I choose to live in Centerville, Iowa,” commented Mathews. “I could live anywhere in the United States. I choose to live here because I love the community, I grew up in Cincinnati – my family still lives there. I moved back here 24 years ago to raise my family and have my kids graduate from Centerville High School. My wife, Mary Louise, is from here and we’ll spend the rest of our time here. This is home. Thank you very much, it means a great deal to myself and my family,” added Mathews.
Mathews’ pro experience dates back to the 1970s. After playing at Indian Hills Community College in the late 1960s, Mathews returned to IHCC to coach the Falcons in 1987. He spent six seasons at IHCC before joining the Rockies.
“Rick has a true love for the game of baseball and has for many years touched not only Centerville youth but youth throughout Iowa playing the game of baseball by working with Little League Baseball and holding pitching and hitting camps and working with Indian Hills Community College students,” said Centerville Mayor Greg Fenton while reading from the official proclamation. “I, Greg Fenton, mayor of Centerville, hereby proclaim Nov. 9, 2007 as Rick Mathews Day and call upon and urge all citizens to recognize Rick Mathews for the many years of faithful dedication to baseball and patronage in the Centerville community.”
Mathews and his wife, Mary Louise, have a son, Jonathan, a minor league hitting instructor in the Baltimore Orioles organization, and a daughter, Sarah.