Texas football power DeSoto (Texas) High School is going back to the well in an attempt to bring back the good times.
On Monday, reports out of the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex — including from TEGNA affiliate WFAA — claimed that former coach Claude Mathis was returning to lead the football program he helped build into a power in the 2000s. Mathis has most recently served as the head coach at Marshall (Texas) High School in East Texas, following a stint as the running backs coach at SMU.
Dallas NBC affiliate KXAS reported that the DeSoto ISD board voted to approve Mathis as the school’s head football coach Monday evening by a vote of 4-1.
When Mathis left DeSoto the first time for SMU, he made the leap as a way to transition into collegiate football. Then, after two seasons, he decided he was better suited leading a high school program. That inspired his return to Marshall, where he went 16-8 in two seasons, including 10-3 in 2018. He left DeSoto with a mark of 74-18 from 2008-2014.
While Mathis is the clear forefather of DeSoto’s modern success, the Eagles actually earned the school’s first state title after he left. Mathis’ successor, Todd Peterman, earned the school’s first title in 2016, capturing the Class 6A Division One title. Peterman left a year later and was replaced by Mike Robinson, the former coach at North Mesquite.
Robinson lasted just a single season at DeSoto, creating the opening that Mathis appears poised to march back through.
“I told my kids at Marshall that if they (DeSoto) called me, that I would accept,” Mathis told the Marshall News Messenger. “I’ve been honest and upfront with my kids from day one so they know. I love them and I would never lie to them. I told them if they hear the news that I accept it, it’s just because I couldn’t tell them right away. I told them that if I did get the job, I would accept.”
Now we know: He did get the job, and Mathis is on his way “home.”