For Tickets Call 1-866-FAU-Owls
For Tickets Call 1-866-FAU-Owls
Eric Mathies joined the Florida Atlantic staff in January 2017 and quickly immersed himself in the recruiting process. That immersion paid off with the elevation from defensive line coach to recruiting coordinator by spring’s end. His next task was evaluating and developing a line that had flourished behind the 2016 Conference USA Defensive Player of the year and New Orleans Saints draftee Trey Hendrickson. Mathies established a line and a rotation that played off the cover skills of the defensive backs and contained C-USA’s running quarterbacks. His unit was an integral in the Owls climbing to a national rank of No. 24 in sacks, a 57-spot improvement from the previous season. The unit’s work paid off with each starter on the Owls’ line earning Conference USA Honorable Mention recognition. Both ends in Hunter Snyder and freshman Leighton McCarthy were honored, while on the inside junior Steven Leggett and graduate transfer Jeremiah Taleni were also recognized. The quartet tallied 17 of the team’s 38 sacks, while the line’s No. 2’s added another 10.5.
Mathies joined the University of South Florida football staff as defensive line coach in January of 2013 and added the duties of recruiting coordinator to his plate in 2016. He brought 15 years of collegiate coaching experience to USF, also having served as an assistant coach at Western Kentucky, Tennessee State and Midwestern (Texas) State. Mathies helped guide USF’s defensive end Eric Lee to Second Team All-American Athletic Conference honors in 2015 as Lee led the Bulls with 12.0 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks. USF ranked No. 13 nationally in tackles for loss (7.5 per game), led the AAC while ranking No. 26 nationally in sacks (2.62/pg), and was third in the conference and No. 31 nationally against the run (141.4/pg).
In his first season at USF, Mathies guided a strong defensive line that helped the Bulls earn a No. 12 FBS rank in 7.6 tackles for loss per game and No. 21 rank in total defense allowing 350.8 yards per game while nearly tripling the forced turnovers from nine the previous season to 25 and scoring three defensive touchdowns. Mathies helped guide sophomore defensive end Aaron Lynch to First Team All-AAC honors, after leading the team with 12.5 tackles for loss and six sacks, and senior defensive tackle Luke Sager to Second Team honors after a career-best 11.5 tackles for loss.
Prior to coming to USF, Mathies coached the defensive line for eight seasons at WKU and served as recruiting coordinator for three seasons. He joined the WKU staff in 2005, and when Willie Taggart took over the Hilltoppers in 2010, Mathies added the title of recruiting coordinator.
As recruiting coordinator, Mathies helped produce the top recruiting class in the Sun Belt Conference in both 2010 and 2011, and the league’s second-ranked class in 2012, according to Rivals.com. Rivals and Scout also recognized Mathies as the Sun Belt Recruiter of the Year, while Scout named him one of the top recruiters in the nation following the 2010 season.
While coaching the defensive line, Mathies mentored Quanterus Smith, who earned All-America honors from both SI.com and Phil Steele after the 2012 season. Smith was named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year after totaling 12.5 sacks, which ranked third nationally. As a whole, the WKU defense led the conference in sacks, TFL, total defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense in 2012.
At Tennessee State
Mathies coached two seasons at Tennessee State, where he worked with defensive tackles in addition to handling recruiting responsibilities.
At Midwestern State
Prior to working at TSU, he was the defensive line coach at Midwestern (Texas) State, where he was also the strength and conditioning coach, in addition to handling recruiting duties.
At Murray High School
He got his start in coaching at Murray High School in 1998, helping the Tigers to a 7-4 mark as they advanced to the second round of the Kentucky state playoffs.
Mathies served an internship with the Dallas Cowboys in 2007.
Collegiate Playing Career
Mathies, who earned his bachelor's degree from Murray State in 1998, was a four-year letterwinner in football. He began his career at Kansas before transferring to Murray State. A defensive lineman, he helped the Racers to a pair of Ohio Valley Conference championships as MSU qualified for the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs in both 1995 and '96.
Born: October 29, 1975
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Education: Murray State ‘98 with a degree in mass communications
Family: Brittney (wife), Janelle (daughter) and Cassius (son)
2017 – Florida Atlantic (Assistant Coach/DL/Recruitng Coordinator)
2016 – USF (Assistant Coach/DL/Recruiting Coordinator)
2013-15 – USF (Assistant Coach/DL)
2010-12 – Western Kentucky (Assistant Coach/DL/Recruiting Coordinator)
2007 – Dallas Cowboys (NFL Fellowship Program Intern)
2005-09 – Western Kentucky (Assistant Coach/DL)
2003-04 – Tennessee State (Assistant Coach)
1999-2002 – Midwestern (Texas) State (Assistant Coach)