Don Matthews

Last updated

Don Matthews
Biographical details
Born(1939-06-22)June 22, 1939
Amesbury, Massachusetts
DiedJune 14, 2017(2017-06-14) (aged 77)
Beaverton, Oregon
Playing career
1960–1963 Idaho
Position(s) Linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1964 Idaho (GA)
1965 Ely HS (NV) (assistant)
1966–1968Ely (NV) HS
1969–1970 Joel E. Ferris HS (WA)
1971–1972Idaho (OL)
1973Idaho (OC)
1974–1976 Sunset HS (OR)
1977 Edmonton Eskimos (LB)
1978–1982 Edmonton Eskimos (DC)
1983–1987 BC Lions
1989 Edmonton Eskimos (DC)
1990 Toronto Argonauts
1991 Orlando Thunder
1991–1993 Saskatchewan Roughriders
1994–1995 Baltimore Stallions
1996–1998 Toronto Argonauts
1999–2000 Edmonton Eskimos
2002–2006 Montreal Alouettes
2008 Toronto Argonauts
Head coaching record
Overall231–132–1 (CFL)
5–5 (WLAF)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
Grey Cups (5): 73rd, 83rd, 84th, 85th, 90th
Awards
Records
2nd highest win total by CFL coach

Donald J. Matthews, [1] a.k.a. "The Don", (June 22, 1939 – June 14, 2017) was a head coach of several professional football teams, mostly in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He won 231 games in the CFL, the second highest win total by a head coach in the league's history. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in September 2011.

Contents

Early life and college

Matthews was born in Amesbury, Massachusetts, the son of Canadian-born parents, Ida (Babin), from Tracadie, New Brunswick, and Fred Matthews, a steel mill worker from Prince Edward Island. [2] From a large family of limited means and education, he quit high school in Amesbury after his senior season of football in 1956 and served three years in the U.S. Marine Corps. [3]

Matthews returned home and earned his high school diploma and then on the advice of a teacher, ventured west in 1960 as a 21-year-old freshman to Moscow, Idaho. He walked-on at Idaho as a linebacker on the freshman team; [4] he was awarded a scholarship by varsity head coach Skip Stahley after his first semester. [5] He earned three letters and was a team captain in his senior season of 1963, when the Vandals, in their second year under Dee Andros, achieved their first winning season in a quarter century. [6] Matthews graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in education in 1964. [3] [7] [8]

Early career

Matthews was a graduate assistant for the Vandals in Moscow for the 1964 season under Andros and freshman coach Bud Riley. [9] Matthews then coached high school football in Nevada at Ely for four years and won a state title. He relocated to eastern Washington at Spokane in 1969 as head coach at Ferris, where he led the Saxons to the city title in his second and final year. [10]

Matthews became a collegiate assistant coach back at his alma mater in 1971 as offensive line coach (later as offensive coordinator), under second-year head coach Don Robbins. [7] After an 0–2 start, the Vandals finished at 8–3, which included an eight-game winning streak, and won the Big Sky title. At the time it was the best record in school history, and three seniors were selected in the 1972 NFL Draft. Two years later, Robbins was fired following the 1973 season and Matthews moved to the Portland area. He took over a winless program at Sunset High School in Beaverton and won consecutive state championships in 1975 and 1976, going undefeated in his third and final year. [3] He left Sunset after the 1976 season to become a CFL assistant coach in Edmonton, Alberta. [11]

Pro coaching career

Matthews was formerly head coach of the CFL's BC Lions, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Baltimore Stallions, Toronto Argonauts, Edmonton Eskimos, and Montreal Alouettes. He was also head coach of the Orlando Thunder of the World League of American Football in 1991. [12]

In October 2006, Matthews stepped down as head coach of the Alouettes expressing undisclosed health issues that were "affecting his ability to perform". [13]

In May 2008, Matthews was announced as an advisor to the Jeff Hunt-led group's conditional Ottawa franchise. [14]

Don Matthews returned to Toronto on September 9, 2008 as the interim coach for the Argonauts, after they started the season with a 4–6 record. [15] In that press conference, Matthews revealed that the major health reason that caused him to step down as head coach of the Alouettes was an anxiety disorder. He also went further to say that he had been prescribed to some medication and the anxiety attacks are now under control. [16] [17] On October 31, 2008, he resigned from the Argonauts a day after the conclusion of the Argonauts 2008 regular season, which saw the Argos fail to win a game in the eight games under his leadership and finishing out of the playoffs for the first time since the 2001 CFL season. [18]

Matthews was selected for induction in the Builder category into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame on February 10, 2011. [19]

On November 5, 2012, Matthews announced he was battling cancer and therefore would not be able to participate in any of the festivities for the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto. [20]

The Montreal Alouettes announced on July 30, 2014, that Matthews had joined the team in a coaching consultant role for the second consecutive year. [21]

Coaching records

Don Matthews holds several coaching records: [22]

He also has an additional five Grey Cup titles as defensive co-ordinator of the Edmonton Eskimos.

CFL head coaching record

Source: justsportsstats.com
TeamYearRegular seasonPost-season
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostResult
BC 1983 1150.6881st in West Division11Lost in Grey Cup
BC 1984 1231.8001st in West Division01Lost in Division Finals
BC 1985 1330.8131st in West Division20Won Grey Cup
BC 1986 1260.6672nd in West Division11Lost in Division Finals
BC 1987 860.5731st in West Division(fired)
TOR 1990 1080.5562nd in East Division11Lost in Division Finals
SSK 1991 560.4554th in West DivisionMissed Playoffs
SSK 1992 990.5003rd in West Division01Lost in Division Semi-Finals
SSK 1993 1170.6113rd in West Division01Lost in Division Semi-Finals
BAL 1994 1260.6672nd in East Division21Lost in Grey Cup
BAL 1995 1530.8331st in South Division30Won Grey Cup
TOR 1996 1530.8331st in East Division20Won Grey Cup
TOR 1997 1530.8331st in East Division20Won Grey Cup
TOR 1998 990.5003rd in East Division01Lost in Division Semi-Finals
EDM 1999 6120.3333rd in West Division01Lost in Division Semi-Finals
EDM 2000 1080.5562nd in West Division01Lost in Division Semi-Finals
MTL 2002 1350.7221st in East Division20Won Grey Cup
MTL 2003 1350.7221st in East Division11Lost in Grey Cup
MTL 2004 1440.7781st in East Division01Lost in Division Finals
MTL 2005 1080.5562nd in East Division21Lost in Grey Cup
MTL 2006 860.5711st in East Division(stepped down)
TOR 2008 080.0003rd in East Divisionmissed playoffs
Team totals
BC 1983–198756231.7004 West Division
Championships
431 Grey Cup
TOR 1990, 1996–
1998, 2008
49310.6132 East Division
Championships
522 Grey Cups
SSK 1991–199325220.5320 West Division
Championships
020 Grey Cups
BAL 1994–19952790.7501 South Division
Championship
511 Grey Cup
EDM 1999–200016200.4440 West Division
Championships
020 Grey Cups
MTL 2002–200658280.6744 East Division
Championships
521 Grey Cup
Total2311331.63311 Division
Championships
19135 Grey Cups

Personal

Matthews' mother, Ida, was a francophone from Tracadie, New Brunswick, while his father, Fred, was from Prince Edward Island. Had current Canadian nationality laws been in effect in 1939, Matthews would have become a Canadian citizen under the principle of jus sanguines, but separate Canadian citizenship was not enacted until 1947 and was not extended retroactively to anyone born outside the country prior to 1947. In 2004, Matthews became a naturalized Canadian citizen. [23]

Matthews has three sons and six grandchildren. He lived in Beaverton, Oregon, with his wife Stephanie and stepson Blaze. [24]

After a long 5-year battle with cancer, Matthews died on June 14, 2017. [25]

See also

Related Research Articles

Montreal Alouettes Canadian football team

The Montreal Alouettes are a professional Canadian football team based in Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 1946, the team has folded and been revived twice. The Alouettes compete in the East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and last won the Grey Cup championship in 2010. Their home field is Percival Molson Memorial Stadium for the regular season and as of 2014 also home of their playoff games.

Mike OShea (Canadian football) Canadian Football League head coach

Michael O'Shea is the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He is a former Canadian football linebacker and former special teams coordinator of the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL from 2010 to 2013, winning the Grey Cup in 2012. O'Shea played 16 seasons in the CFL for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts from 1993 to 2008. He retired second all-time in career tackles with 1,154 and is one of only three players to record over 1,000 tackles. He won the CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian Award in 1999 after recording 84 tackles, 13 special teams tackles and three interceptions that year. O'Shea is a three-time Grey Cup champion as a player, having won all three with the Argonauts in 1996, 1997, and 2004. He is also a one time Grey Cup winning head coach, having won with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2019, O'Shea also won the Grey Cup previously as a special teams coach with the Toronto Argonauts in the 100th Grey Cup.

Anthony Calvillo American football quarterback

Anthony Calvillo is the assistant head coach for the Montreal Carabins football team in U Sports and is a former Canadian Football League (CFL) quarterback. He was professional football's all-time passing yards leader from 2011 to 2020, and first in all-time CFL passing yards. In his career, he passed for 79,816 yards and is one of nine professional quarterbacks to have completed over 400 touchdown passes. His reign ended in 2020 when Brees surpassed him.

Ricky Ray American football player

Ricky Ray is an American former professional Canadian football quarterback. Ray spent the majority of his professional career with the Edmonton Eskimos and Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He also briefly spent time in the af2, as well as with the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). Ray is the Eskimos all-time leader in passing yardage, pass completions and passing touchdowns. He won the Grey Cup in 2003, 2005, 2012, and 2017. He formally announced his retirement from professional football on May 8, 2019.

Wally Buono

Pasquale "Wally" Buono is the vice president of football operations, alternate governor and the former head coach of the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL), and one of the most successful head coaches in league history. He has spent 22 years as head coach of the Calgary Stampeders and the Lions, which is tied for the most seasons coached all-time. On September 19, 2009, Buono became the CFL's all-time winningest coach when his Lions beat the Toronto Argonauts 23–17, giving him 232 regular-season victories, passing Don Matthews. He retired in 2011 with a CFL record 254 regular-season wins as head coach, to focus on duties as general manager for the Lions. In 2016, Buono came out of retirement to coach the Lions again through the 2018 season. In the final home game of the 2018 season, Buono was honored with the Bob Ackles Award as he was retiring from football with the most wins as a coach.

Cody Pickett American football quarterback

Cody J. Pickett is a former professional gridiron football quarterback in the National Football League and Canadian Football League. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, and played college football at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Derrell Lavoice "Mookie" Mitchell is a former Canadian Football League slotback with the Toronto Argonauts and Edmonton Eskimos and former wide receivers coach for the Edmonton Eskimos.

The Annis Stukus Trophy is a Canadian Football League trophy, which is presented annually by the Edmonton Eskimos Alumni Association to the Coach of the Year, as determined by the members of the Football Reporters of Canada. The Trophy is named after former player, coach, and general manager Annis Stukus.

Jim Popp

James Thomas Popp is an American sports executive and a Canadian football icon, who has been recognized as one of the brightest minds in professional sports, known for his ability to both build expansion teams and rebuild established franchises into championship organizations. Popp has the uncanny ability to hire, develop, mentor top executives, coaches, and players that are spread across North America. Popp most recently was the general manager of the Toronto Argonauts football club of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He had previously served as Vice President, General Manager, Head Coach, Director of Football Operations, and Director of Player Personnel of the Montreal Alouettes, General Manager and Director of Player Personnel of the Baltimore Stallions, and the Director of Player Personnel and Wide Receiver Coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Popp has become one of the most decorated General Managers in professional sports, leading three separate franchises to a total of 5 Grey Cups championship wins and his teams have appeared in 18 Divisional Championship games, 11 Grey Cups.

Sean Millington is a former Canadian Football League fullback and currently does colour commentary for the CFL’s website and the CBC. He has also acted in several movies and television shows.

Leo Cahill was a Canadian head coach and general manager in the Canadian Football League, much of it spent with the Toronto Argonauts.

Steve Buratto is a Canadian football coach and former offensive lineman. He is the offensive coordinator for the UBC Thunderbirds football team. He is also a former head coach in the Canadian Football League with the Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions, the latter of which he won the 88th Grey Cup with.

Jim Barker Canadian football coach

James Barker is a gridiron football coach and administrator who was most recently a football operations consultant and assistant coach for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He has also served as a head coach and general manager for the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts. He is a four-time Grey Cup champion having won twice as an assistant coach and twice as a football administrator.

Edward Jones "Bud" Riley, Jr. was an American college football coach who served as an assistant coach for the University of Idaho and Oregon State University.

Rich Stubler

Richard Stubler is a professional Canadian football coach. He was most recently the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He is a five-time Grey Cup champion, all as a defensive coordinator, and was formerly the head coach of the Toronto Argonauts. He has been coaching since the 1970s and has coached at the high school level, NCAA, Arena Football League and the CFL.

Kenneth Charles Hobart is a former professional football player, a quarterback in the USFL and CFL, where he played from 1985–1990.

2008 Toronto Argonauts season

The 2008 Toronto Argonauts season was the 51st season for the team in the Canadian Football League and 136th season overall. The Argonauts attempted to win their 16th Grey Cup, but they failed to make the playoffs ending the season on a nine-game losing streak.

Ken Miller (gridiron football) American sports coach

Ken Miller is currently an offensive consultant for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He previously served in the league as head coach and vice president of football operations for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He served as the Roughriders head coach between 2008 and 2010, leading the team to appearances in the Grey Cup in 2009 and 2010. Miller returned as head coach of the Roughriders on August 19, 2011, after the firing of Greg Marshall after a 1–7 start to the 2011 CFL season. Miller was the club's offensive coordinator under head coach Kent Austin when they captured the 95th Grey Cup in 2007. He had previously served on the coaching staffs of the Toronto Argonauts, University of Redlands, Dickinson State, and Yucaipa High School.

Brandon Whitaker

Brandon Marcel Whitaker is a professional Canadian football running back who is currently a free agent, having most recently played for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Montreal Alouettes in 2008. He played college football for the Baylor Bears, where he majored in communications. Whitaker is a three-time Grey Cup champion, winning back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010 with the Alouettes, as well as the 105th Grey Cup with the Argonauts under the leadership of former Alouettes' coach Marc Trestman.The Argonauts did not extend Whitaker's contract with the team subsequent to the 2017 CFL season.

The 2017 Canadian Football League season was the 64th season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it was the 60th season of the league. The regular season began on June 22 and concluded on November 4. The playoffs commenced on November 12 and concluded on November 26 with the Toronto Argonauts defeating the Calgary Stampeders to win the 105th Grey Cup.

References

  1. Rogers Digital Media. "The life and legacy of the incomparable Don Matthews". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  2. Bill Beacon (October 20, 2004). "Matthews chooses to become citizen". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  3. 1 2 3 Portland Tribune Archived February 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine - A new game plan for famed coach - 2010-02-11
  4. "Vandal babe standouts". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1961. p. 154.
  5. Blanchette, John (February 9, 1983). "Things are not so shaky for Don Matthews anymore". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. C1.
  6. "Football". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1964. p. 255.
  7. 1 2 Go Vandals.com - lifetime achievement - Don Matthews - accessed 2011-10-22
  8. Lawton, James (January 15, 1983). "Matthews has travelled a long, tough highway". Vancouver Sun. British Columbia. p. E1.
  9. "Football". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1965. p. 252.
  10. "Ferris coach takes post as aide with Vandals". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). January 29, 1971. p. 15.
  11. "Don Matthews, local and legendary football coach, dies at 77". OregonLive.com. June 16, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  12. "Orlando Thunder History". Worldleagueofamericanfootball.com. Retrieved June 18, 2017. The Orlando Thunder was a member of the World League of American Football from 1991 to 1992 (known as NFL Europe from 1995 onwards). The team played their games in the 70,000 seat Citrus Bowl, and was coached by Don Matthews in 1991 and Galen Hall in 1992...
  13. "Als coach Matthews resigns". CBC Sports. October 4, 2006. Retrieved October 31, 2008.
  14. Brennan, Don (September 12, 2008). "Hunt: Matthews inspired by Kilrea". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved September 12, 2008.
  15. "Argos fire Stubler, bring back Matthews". CBC Sports. September 9, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2008.
  16. "Hamilton's online newspaper | Today's Spectator stories". TheSpec.com. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  17. O’Connor, Joe (October 29, 2008). "Argos' Matthews winning battle with anxiety". National Post. Canada. Retrieved October 31, 2008.[ permanent dead link ]
  18. "Matthews quits as Argos coach". CBC Sports. October 31, 2008. Retrieved October 31, 2008.
  19. "Canadian Football Hall of Fame announces Class of 2011," Canadian Football Hall of Fame & Museum, Thursday, February 10, 2011. Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  20. "Don Matthews battling cancer". Calgary Sun . Retrieved November 6, 2012.
  21. "Don Matthews, Turk Schonert join Alouettes as consultants | Metro News". Metronews.ca. July 30, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  22. "Hall of Fame Builder: Don Matthews. Inducted in 2011". Canadian Football Hall of Fame. 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  23. "Alouettes hammer Renegades at the Big O". CBC News. October 23, 2004.
  24. Canada (July 19, 2013). "Legendary coach Don Matthews 'making a comeback'". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  25. "Legendary CFL coach Don Matthews dead at age 77". CBC News. June 14, 2017.