Mavs top priority for Mathis

Former Marshall head coach Claude Mathis overlooks pregame warm-ups in 2017 in Longview.

On Monday, January 14, Claude Mathis officially accepted a job as head football coach of the DeSoto Eagles, ending his time as athletic director and head football coach of the Marshall Mavericks.

“It’s very bitter sweet, very, very, very bittersweet,” Mathis said of leaving Marshall for DeSoto. “I told our kids, and I mean this, ‘This is the only job that could come and get me.’ I told them that if I get this job, I wouldn’t be applying for any other high school job for the rest of the year and they know that. Our future at Marshall is very bright, it’s very bright. We’ve got some great young kids coming up and we’ve got some great kids already in the program right now so the future is very bright there. There’s no way I was going to leave Marshall for any other place.”

In his two years at Marshall, Mathis guided the Mavericks to an overall record of 16-8 and a perfect 13-0 record against district opponents, earning two district championships and two playoff appearances. The 2018 season saw the Mavs go three rounds deep. He now holds an overall record of 113-31 as he returns to DeSoto where he served as head football coach from 2008 through 2014 where he led his Eagles to a 74-18 record.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a 10-part series looking back at the biggest athletic stories at Marshall High School during the 2018-19 school year.