MARSHALL, Texas – Marshall ISD’s Board of Trustees has approved the recommendation of Superintendent Dr. Jerry Gibson to hire Claude Mathis as the district’s new Athletic Director and Head Football Coach.
The unanimous vote took place during a Special Called Meeting Thursday afternoon. A press conference to officially introduce Mathis took place following the board meeting.
Mathis comes to Marshall after serving as running backs coach at Southern Methodist University under Mustangs coach Chad Morris the last two years. Prior to SMU, however, he had a stellar seven-year stint as head coach at DeSoto High School in which he led the Eagles to back-to-back state semifinal appearances and a No. 1 national ranking by Sports Illustrated, Rivals and MaxPreps.
“Marshall ISD is thrilled to welcome such an established and successful football coach in Claude Mathis,” Dr. Gibson said. “After spending some time with him throughout this process, the search committee was blown away by his passion, his energy and his love for students. His record speaks for itself, but his personality and his boundless enthusiasm for this job is what we are most excited about. We are happy to welcome Coach Mathis to the Maverick Family.”
“I’m very excited and humbled to be the new Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Marshall ISD,” Mathis said. “I can’t wait to get on the field with our kids. I’m so excited to be able to help grow kids again at the high school level and to help add to the strong tradition here in Marshall in both our girls and boys athletics programs.”
Mathis joined the staff at SMU in December of 2014 after a stellar seven-year run as head coach at DeSoto. As head coach of the Eagles, his teams went 74-18 overall and won or shared six district championships in seven seasons. DeSoto advanced past the bi-district round of the playoffs every season under Mathis’ direction.
DeSoto made the state quarterfinals three times (2010, 2012, 2013), and was a back-to-back state semifinalist in 2012 and 2013. The Eagles also led the nation in total offense, averaging 551 yards per game to break a Texas Class 5A state record.
Mathis has also been a speaker at several coaching clinics around the nation, including clinics at Oklahoma State University, SMU, LSU, BYU and others. In 2015, he was a speaker at the Nike Clinic in Oregon.
He also coached Boys Track at DeSoto to state championships in the 4×100 and 4×200 events, as well as winning the overall 2012 state track championship.
Prior to his work at DeSoto, Mathis was the Head Football Coach at Lyndon B. Johnson High School in Austin ISD from 2005-2008, where he led LBJ to three playoff appearances in his four seasons. The program’s 2005 playoff appearance was the first for LBJ since the 2000 season, and the program advanced to the state quarterfinals in 2007.
Mathis earned his first head coaching job at Somerville ISD, where he was Athletic Director/Head Football Coach/Head Girls Track Coach in 2004-2005. He was the offensive coordinator at Austin Anderson High School from 2000-2004 while also serving as the girls track coach.
Mathis earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science, with a specialization in Special Education, from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos in 1998. He was a standout running back for the Bobcats, setting the all-time Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) and Southland Conference rushing record. He was a two-time All-American at running back and played in the Hula Bowl in Hawaii following his senior season.
Mathis is a native of Bartlett, Texas, where played on two state championship teams (1990 and 1993). He also was a state track qualifier in the 300 meter hurdles in track.
Mathis was chosen from a field of over 80 applicants for the job. Out of those applications, eight were brought in for a first round of interviews followed by a second round of interviews with three finalists.
The Marshall position opened in February, when former Mavs AD/Head Football Coach Clint Harper left to become the Athletic Director in Duncanville ISD.