Robert L. Mathews
The Archive 1928, Saint Louis yearbook
|Sport(s)||Football, basketball, baseball|
|Died||September 1, 1947
|Alma mater||University of Notre Dame, 1911|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1931–1932||West Seattle Athletic Club|
|1945–1946||Lewis & Clark|
|1945–1946||Lewis & Clark|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
8–8 (college basketball)
15–3 (college baseball)
Robert Lee "Matty" Mathews (c. 1887 – September 1, 1947) was an American football player and coach. He was the head football coach at St. Edward's College (1911), Kenyon College (1912–1914), Willamette University (1915–1920), the University of Idaho (1922–1925), Saint Louis University (1926–1927), Gonzaga University (1929), the University of Portland (1937–1942), and Lewis & Clark College (1945–1946).
Born in Leadville, Colorado, Mathews played college football at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, as a freshman then transferred to the University of Notre Dame in 1908 and played three seasons for the Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana. During his senior season in 1910, future coaching legend Knute Rockne was a freshman end.
In Mathews' four seasons at Idaho, the Vandals' first years in the Pacific Coast Conference, they won three consecutive rivalry games over Palouse neighbor Washington State. Idaho lost the other, Mathews' first in 1922, by a single point, and he remains the only Idaho head coach with multiple wins over WSU. The Vandals made significant use of the forward pass under Mathews, who was also the athletic director at Idaho.
He left Moscow and the Northwest after 1925 for St. Louis for two seasons (1926–27) but did not coach during the 1928 season, and worked in private business in Akron, Ohio, until hired at Gonzaga in June 1929. After less than a year in Spokane as athletic director and head coach in football and basketball, he resigned in April 1930 to pursue career options closer to the coast.
Mathews was also the head coach of the West Seattle Athletic Club in 1931 and 1932 and of the American Football League's Portland Rockets in 1944. In the 1930s, he supervised athletics for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in the state of Washington.
He returned to college football in Oregon at the University of Portland in 1937, where he was also athletic director. During World War II, the school dropped football prior to the 1943 season and Mathews resigned as AD the following spring when the administration extended the hiatus for the 1944 season. Entering his third season at Lewis & Clark in 1947, Mathews died on September 1 at the age of 60 of a heart attack at his home in Portland.
Head coaching record
|St. Edward's Hilltoppers (1911)|
|Kenyon Lords (Ohio Athletic Conference) (1912–1914)|
|Willamette Bearcats (1915–1920)|
|1918||No team—World War I|
|Idaho Vandals (Pacific Coast Conference) (1922–1925)|
|Saint Louis Billikens (Independent) (1926–1927)|
|Gonzaga Bulldogs (Independent) (1929)|
|Portland Pilots (1937–1942)|
|Lewis & Clark Pioneers (1945–1946)|
|1945||Lewis & Clark|
|1946||Lewis & Clark||3–4–1|
|Lewis & Clark:|
- "Matty Mathews quits Portland". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. May 6, 1944. p. 8.
- "Stars to tutor teams at Idaho". September 17, 1922. p. 3-part 4.
- "Vet football coach dies at Portland". Schenectady Gazette. United Press. September 2, 1947. p. 15.
- "Robert L. (Matty) Mathews selected to direct athletic destinies at Gonzaga University". Spokesman-Review. June 4, 1929. p. 16.
- "Department of Athletics". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1924. p. 101.
- "Department of Athletics". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1925. p. 99.
- "Matty Mathews here on visit". Spokane Daily Chronicle. November 3, 1928. p. 8.
- "Strong veteran cage team looms at Gonzaga this year". Spokane Daily Chronicle. November 26, 1929. p. 26.
- "Webfoots will meet Gonzaga Friday at 8 p.m.". Eugene Guard. Oregon. January 3, 1930. p. 8.
- "Mathews leaves post at Gonzaga". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 26, 1930. p. 1.
- "Matty Mathews signs to coach Portland pros". Ellensburg Daily Record. Associated Press. July 11, 1944. p. 6.
- "Portland Rockets (1944)". Greater Northwest Football Association. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Coach Matty Mathews passes of heart attack in Portland". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. September 1, 1947. p. 16.
- "Mathews quits as Pilot coach". Bend Bulletin. United Press. May 6, 1944. p. 2.
- "Winco league skeds practice". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. August 29, 1947. p. 21.
- "Robert L. Mathews". New York Times. Associated Press. September 2, 1947. Retrieved July 8, 2011.