Claude Mathis, DeSoto ISD Athletic Director and DHS Football Head Coach – Photo courtesy of DeSoto ISD

Special to The Dallas Examiner


State Sen. Royce West has selected DeSoto ISD Athletic Director and DHS Football Head Coach Claude Mathis to receive the Outstanding Texan Award for Senatorial District 23 during the Texas Legislative Black Caucus Legislative Summit.

Outstanding Texan Awards are presented to honor leaders, advocates and trailblazers in each senatorial district. It is bestowed upon an individual for service and commitment to the citizenry of Texas and residents of the respective district that selects them. Each TxLBC member may nominate constituents for an award that will be awarded in-person during the 50th Anniversary Gala, April 3.

Mathis was selected because of his demonstrated unwavering tenacity and visionary leadership in educating, uplifting, revitalizing and empowering the young men of Senatorial district 23, alums, and community through his stellar coaching.

“This is another well-deserved honor bestowed upon Coach Mathis,” enthused DeSoto ISD Superintendent Usamah Rodgers. “He and his staff keep their part of the ‘Triple A’ experience – Academics, Arts, Athletics – at DeSoto ISD in tip top condition. It’s delightful to see him continue to soar.”

Mathis has led DeSoto Football since 2019, his second stint as DeSoto head coach. In 2022, he secured his first state championship title as a coach. In college, he was a four-year letter winner at Texas State as a starting running back for the Bobcat football team from 1994-1997. He was the Southland Conference all-time leading rusher and was named All-Conference and All-American all four years of his Texas State football career. Texas State also awarded him the title of Offensive Player of the year in 1996 and 1997. He was inducted into the Texas State Hall of Honor in 2011.

At DeSoto, Mathis has been much more than a football coach. His support of the student athletes includes development of tutorial programs to ensure their grades make them competitive for the college of their choice. Aside from coaching, Mathis volunteers in the DeSoto Food Pantry food drives, the DeSoto Eagle Olympics, charity events and mentors students throughout the community through local churches.

Mollie Finch Belt is the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of The Dallas Examiner. She attended elementary school in Tuskegee, Ala.; Cambridge, Mass.; and Dallas, Texas. In 1961, she graduated from...

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