Claude Mathis - Desoto HS - Adapting Offense to Players` Talents

by Texas High School Coaches Association
Claude Mathis - Desoto HS - Adapting Offense to Players` Talents


Lecture delivered at THSCA Coaching School 2023 - Houston, TX



The Coach


Texas High School Coaches Association



Claude Mathis - Desoto HS

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, quickly reviving the struggling program.  In 2008, Coach Mathis was named the DeSoto High School Head Football Coach/Assistant Athletic Director. Mathis turned DeSoto into one of the state's premier programs going 74-18 in his seven seasons with back-to-back 5A semifinals appearances in 2012 and 2013. In each of his last five seasons, Mathis guided DeSoto to 10 or more victories.

Claude Mathis moved on to SMU as running backs coach in January 2015. Mathis joined the Mustang staff after a stellar high school coaching career.  In his first season on the Hilltop, Mathis helped develop one of the nation’s top freshman running backs, Xavier Jones. Jones set a SMU freshman record with 10 rushing TDs in 2015, surpassing SMU greats Eric Dickerson and Zach Line.  In 2016, Coach Mathis had two running backs that rushed for over 100 yards in a game and another rusher who accumulated over 1000 yards - something which had not happened at SMU in years. In all, SMU’s offense increased its scoring output by 16.7 points per game – the second-largest increase in the nation in 2015.

Mathis transitioned back to high school football as the head coach at Marshall HS from 2017-2018.  There his team won the district championship two years in a row without ever losing a district game advancing to the Quarterfinals in his last year at Marshall. 

Coach Mathis went back home to take over the reins again at DeSoto in 2019.  The Eagles have made the playoffs every year since Coach Mathis returned and won the 6A Division II State Championship in 2022. The Eagles have compiled a 44-10 record since Mathis returned to the program.  His current coaching record at DeSoto HS is 119-27.

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