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Coak Matthews, Head Coach

One of the most decorated coaches in Henderson State University’s history, Coak Matthews is in his 36th year as the university’s head swimming and diving coach.

Matthews, a 1995 inductee into the Arkansas Swimming Hall of Fame and a 2003 inductee into the Reddie Hall of Honor, has won 24 conference championships during his illustrious coaching career. A Master Coach by the College Swimming Coaches Association and a level 5 coach (highest level possible) in the category of the NCAA II by the American Swimming Coaches Association, he has been named national diving coach of the year in 1990, national swimming coach of the year in 1994 and conference swimming coach of the year 15 times.

During his collegiate coaching career, he has coached 4 national champions and over 200 All Americans while both the men and women have finished in the top 10 nationally in the NAIA as well as the NCAA II, numerous times.

Matthews also sponsored the swim team at Arkadelphia High School from 1983 until 2003. He coached the Lady Badgers to two state championships and eighteen of his swimmers and divers at AHS have been named all-state.

Matthews graduated from Memorial High School in Houston, Texas, in 1973. He went on to attend the University of Arkansas, where he swam for the Razorbacks all 4 years and was an SWC finalist on several relay teams.

Matthews earned his B.S.B.A degree in finance and banking from the University of Arkansas in 1977.

After serving as the head coach for the Houston Swim Club in 1978 and the head coach for the Quail Valley Aquatic Club in Houston from 1979-82, Matthews came to Henderson State.

Matthews and his wife, Mary, are parents of triplets Sallie, Blanton and William who will be juniors in high school in 2016-17.