Ray Mathews

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Ray Mathews
refer to caption
Mathews on a 1952 Bowman football card
No. 44, 25
Position: Halfback, end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1929-02-26)February 26, 1929
Place of birth: Dayton, Pennsylvania
Date of death: December 20, 2015(2015-12-20) (aged 86)
Place of death: Mercer, Pennsylvania
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school: McKeesport (PA) Area
College: Clemson
NFL Draft: 1951 / Round: 7 / Pick: 81
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 114
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Raymond Dyral Mathews (February 26, 1929 – December 20, 2015) was an American football halfback and end in the National Football League (NFL) for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football for Clemson University.

Early years[edit]

Mathews attended McKeesport Area High School, before moving on to Clemson University, where he played baseball and football. He was the starting halfback in a backfield that included Fred Cone.

The 1948 team finished undefeated and beat the University of Missouri, 24-23, in the 1949 Gator Bowl.

As a senior, he was a part of another undefeated season and played in the 1951 Orange Bowl, beating the University of Miami 15–14. He made an acrobatic reception for one of the touchdowns.[1]

In 1978, he was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

Mathews was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventh round (81st overall) of the 1951 NFL Draft. He was mostly a backup to running back Fran Rogel. He was switched to wide receiver in 1956. He was also used as a kickoff and punt returner.

He was the team's leading rusher in 1952, with 315 yards on 66 carries. He led the team in receiving in three straight seasons (1954-1956). He finished his Steelers career after appearing in 108 games with 230 receptions for 3,919 yards and 34 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,057 yards and five touchdowns on 300 carries. He also held the franchise records for longest reception (78 yards) and most touchdowns in a game (4). In 2007, he was named to the Pittsburgh Steelers Legends team.[3]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Mathews was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960 NFL Expansion Draft. He was the team captain for the first game in franchise history. He appeared in 6 games as a reserve player, while reuniting with former college teammate Fred Cone.

Personal life[edit]

After retiring as a player, he was an assistant coach for the Washington Redskins and the Calgary Stampeders.[4][5] He later purchased a farm in Marion Township, Pennsylvania, where he died on December 20, 2015.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1951 Orange Bowl". Retrieved January 29, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame". Retrieved January 29, 2016. 
  3. ^ "All-Time Team - Pittsburgh Steelers". Retrieved January 29, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Ex-Steeler Star Given County Post". Retrieved January 29, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Matthews Named 'Skins End Coach". Retrieved January 29, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Obituary: Ray Mathews / All-Pro Steeler, fan favorite from '50s". Retrieved January 29, 2016.