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.