Claude Mathis, running backs coach on Chad Morris’ SMU staff, has accepted the head football coaching position at Marshall high school. Marshall, a 5A program, is located on I-20 east of Longview about 20 miles from the Louisiana border.
Mathis replaces Clint Harper who left Marshall to be the Duncanville ISD athletic director. Harper had an overall four year record of 27-20 with the Mavericks. Harper’s best season was in 2015 (11-2) when the Mavs won a co-district championship and made a trip the regional round of the playoffs. Marshall finished the 2016 season at 6-5.
Mathis guided the DeSoto high school football program into a perennial state power and ended up with a 74-18 in seven seasons with the Eagles. Mathis led the program to consecutive state semifinal appearances in 2012 and 2013 losing both years eventual state champion Allen.
Mathis, a Bartlett, Texas native who was a two-time All-American running back at Southwest Texas State, began his head coaching career at Somerville in 2004 staying only one season. Then after a short stint at Austin LBJ Mathis accepted the DeSoto job in 2008.
Mathis left DeSoto in 2015 accepting a position on Morris’ staff at SMU where he was the running backs coach for two seasons.
Mathis has indicated his decision to get back into the high school ranks was based by both a desire to return to coaching teenagers and doing what he thinks is best for his family.
Mathis has three children with his oldest son, Champ, being a sophomore football player at DeSoto.
"It comes down to me and my kids," Mathis said of his decision to return to high school coaching. "This time it's going to be for a while because I want to see my kids through school."