Class of 1957







Wilson Matthews


He had possibly one of the finest success stories in all of Arkansas prep history. At Little Rock Central, his teams won 10 state championships in 11 years and posted a remarkable record of 109-17-3, losing only three games to in-state teams. Rogers (Ark.) High School was where Matthews began his coaching career in 1944. He led his squad to a 7-3 finish before moving to Central as an assistant. His first Tiger teams went 12-0-1 in 1947 and 9-1-1 in 1948. His next two teams finished 10-1 and 10-2. In 1951, his team was 9-3 but a one-point loss to North Little Rock that season was the last defeat a Matthews-coached Central team had against competition from Arkansas. The Tigers were undefeated in the state the next six years. Matthews led the Tigers to unbeaten seasons in 1956 and 1957, and left the school with a 33-game winning streak. His 1957 team was ranked No. 1 nationally. A native of Atkins, Ark., Matthews played football at Atkins High, Arkansas Tech, and Arkansas and and with the Monticello Marine-Navy team. He earned his bachelorís degree and his masterís in education from Arkansas. Matthews also served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II.