Claude Mathis enters his first season as running backs coach at the University of Houston. Mathis joined the UH staff after a stellar high school coaching career at three stops around the state.
A two-time All-American (1996-97) and record-setting running back at Southwest Texas State (now Texas State), Mathis most recently spent four seasons as the head coach at DeSoto (Texas) High School posting a 36-14 record, with four consecutive appearances in the state playoffs. Mathis guided the Eagles to the state quarterfinals in 2010, finishing 11-3. His club also went 10-2 last season.
"When you talk about coaches with high character, a passion for the game of football and connections throughout our state, there is no better fit for our program than Claude Mathis," Head Coach Tony Levine said. "I have known Coach Mathis for a number of years and have a great appreciation for how he approached the game of football while he played for us at Texas State. He has won big as a head coach on the high school level here in Texas, so we are getting a great football coach, a great mentor and someone that will have a huge impact on our student-athletes here at the University of Houston."
Levine was an assistant wide receivers / tight ends coach at Texas State in 1997 when Mathis broke the Southland Conference single-season rushing record with 1,593 yards. He still owns a host of school career, single-season and single-game records, including career rushing marks with 4,694 yards on 882 attempts, as well as career touchdowns (49) and points scored (294). He also owns the top two single-game rushing performances, going for 310 yards vs. Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 15, 1996, before rushing for 308 yards vs. Jacksonville State on Nov. 15, 1997.
"It's tremendous to be here at the University of Houston and I want to thank Coach Levine for this opportunity," Mathis said. "Coach Levine has shown a great commitment to the high school coaches in our state and Houston has a great tradition of running backs, so I am excited to work with our group and keep that tradition going."
Mathis began his head-coaching career at Somerville (Texas) High School in 2004 before taking over at Austin's Lyndon Baines Johnson High School in 2005. The former NFL running back (Minnesota Vikings in 1998) quickly revived that struggling program. Prior to his arrival, LBJ had not made the Texas State Playoffs since 1995, but the Jaguars advanced to postseason play each of his three years at the school and his 2007 club went 10-3 and claimed the District 26-4A crown. Overall Mathis finished his tenure at LBJ with a 21-15 mark.
For more information on Mathis and the University of Houston Football program, please visit our website, UHCougars.com.
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