Robert L. Mathews
Robert L. Mathews.png
The Archive 1928, Saint Louis yearbook
Biographical details
BornAugust 6, 1887
Leadville, Colorado
DiedSeptember 1, 1947(1947-09-01) (aged 60)
Portland, Oregon
Playing career
Football
1907Willamette
1908–1910Notre Dame
Position(s)Back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Football
1911St. Edward's
1912–1914Kenyon
1915–1920Willamette
1921Washington (freshmen)
1922–1925Idaho
1926–1927Saint Louis
1929Gonzaga
1931–1932West Seattle Athletic Club
1937–1942Portland
1944Portland Rockets
1945–1946Lewis & Clark
Basketball
1929–1930Gonzaga
1942–1943Portland
1945–1946Lewis & Clark
Baseball
1922Washington
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1915–1921Willamette
1922–1926Idaho
1929–1930Gonzaga
1937–1944Portland
Head coaching record
Overall3–6 (AFL)
8–8 (college basketball)
15–3 (college baseball)

Robert Lee "Matty" Mathews (August 6, 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),[1] and Lewis & Clark College (1945–1946).

Biography

He was born on August 6, 1887, 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.[2][3][4] 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,[5] who was also the athletic director at Idaho.[6][7]

He left Moscow and the Northwest after 1925 for St. Louis for two seasons (1926–27) but did not coach during the 1928 season,[8] and worked in private business in Akron, Ohio, until hired at Gonzaga in June 1929.[5] After less than a year in Spokane as athletic director and head coach in football and basketball,[9][10] he resigned in April 1930 to pursue career options closer to the coast.[11]

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.[12][13] In the 1930s, he supervised athletics for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in the state of Washington.[14]

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.[1][15] Entering his third season at Lewis & Clark in 1947,[16]

Mathews died on September 1 at the age of 60 of a heart attack at his home in Portland, Oregon.[14][17]

Head coaching record

College football

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
St. Edward's Saints (1911)
1911 St. Edward's
St. Edward's:
Kenyon Lords (Ohio Athletic Conference) (1912–1914)
1912 Kenyon 4–3–1 2–3–1 T–7th
1913 Kenyon 5–3–1 1–3–1 T–8th
1914 Kenyon 4–3–1 2–3 7th
Kenyon: 13–9–3 5–9–2
Willamette Bearcats (1915–1920)
1915 Willamette 2–2–1
1916 Willamette 4–2
1917 Willamette 1–1
1918 No team—World War I
1919 Willamette 4–1
1920 Willamette 3–1–1
Willamette: 14–7–2
Idaho Vandals (Pacific Coast Conference) (1922–1925)
1922 Idaho 3–5 0–4 8th
1923 Idaho 5–2–1 2–2–1 T–3rd
1924 Idaho 5–2–1 4–2 4th
1925 Idaho 3–5 2–3 T–6th
Idaho: 16–14–2 8–11–1
Saint Louis Billikens (Independent) (1926–1927)
1926 Saint Louis 3–6
1927 Saint Louis 5–5
Saint Louis: 8–11
Gonzaga Bulldogs (Independent) (1929)
1929 Gonzaga 4–3
Gonzaga: 4–3
Portland Pilots (Independent) (1937–1942)
1937 Portland 4–3–1
1938 Portland 5–3
1939 Portland 1–5–1
1940 Portland 2–3–1
1941 Portland 3–5
1942 Portland 5–2
Portland: 20–21–3
Lewis & Clark Pioneers (1945–1946)
1945 Lewis & Clark
1946 Lewis & Clark 3–4–1
Lewis & Clark:
Total:

References

  1. ^ a b "Matty Mathews quits Portland". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. May 6, 1944. p. 8.
  2. ^ "Stars to tutor teams at Idaho". September 17, 1922. p. 3-part 4.
  3. ^ "Vet football coach dies at Portland". Schenectady Gazette. United Press. September 2, 1947. p. 15.
  4. ^ "R.L. Matthews to coach Idaho football team" (PDF). University Argonaut. (Moscow, Idaho). (University of Idaho). August 7, 1922. p. 1.
  5. ^ a b "Robert L. (Matty) Mathews selected to direct athletic destinies at Gonzaga University". Spokesman-Review. June 4, 1929. p. 16.
  6. ^ "Department of Athletics". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1924. p. 101.
  7. ^ "Department of Athletics". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1925. p. 99.
  8. ^ "Matty Mathews here on visit". Spokane Daily Chronicle. November 3, 1928. p. 8.
  9. ^ "Strong veteran cage team looms at Gonzaga this year". Spokane Daily Chronicle. November 26, 1929. p. 26.
  10. ^ "Webfoots will meet Gonzaga Friday at 8 p.m." Eugene Guard. Oregon. January 3, 1930. p. 8.
  11. ^ "Mathews leaves post at Gonzaga". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 26, 1930. p. 1.
  12. ^ "Matty Mathews signs to coach Portland pros". Ellensburg Daily Record. Associated Press. July 11, 1944. p. 6.
  13. ^ "Portland Rockets (1944)". Greater Northwest Football Association. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Coach Matty Mathews passes of heart attack in Portland". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. September 1, 1947. p. 16.
  15. ^ "Mathews quits as Pilot coach". Bend Bulletin. United Press. May 6, 1944. p. 2.
  16. ^ "Winco league skeds practice". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. August 29, 1947. p. 21.
  17. ^ "Robert L. Mathews" (PDF). New York Times. Associated Press. September 2, 1947. Retrieved July 8, 2011.