The Tim Matthews Classic Wrestling Tournament will be held on Friday and Saturday December 9-10 at Jerome High School. The tournament starts at 4 p.m. on Friday and at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Jerome, Canyon Ridge, Twin Falls, Blackfoot, Minico, Declo, Rocky Mountain, Boise, Rigby, Filer, and Kimberly are attending. The tournament was named after Coach Matthews because of his many years of dedicated service to Jerome students.
“Coach Matthews was a wonderful example of selfless service throughout his career. He is a great coach. With Tim, it was always about what was best for the kids.”
–Terry Waitley, Jerome High School Teacher/Coach
“Tim Matthews has unselfishly promoted the sport of wrestling more than anyone else I know in the state of Idaho. He works constantly behind the scenes for the benefit of all the high schools, not just Jerome. So many people who coached under him or wrestled for him continue to give back to the sport.”
–Tyler Wardle, Jerome High School Wrestling Coach
In 2011, Coach Matthews was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Always humble, his induction speech was clocked at just 29 and 31 seconds. From a Times News article by Stephen Meyers about his induction, “The Jerome coach thanked his list of people who helped him along the way during his two-decade coaching career and said anyone interested could read the rest of his speech if they could grab it out of his pocket. That was it, and he sat down next to his wife, Joy. “And I slugged him,” she joked. He may not be a man of many words or someone who pursues the spotlight, but Matthews left his legacy at Jerome High School and the former coach finds himself in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Idaho Chapter for his dedication and lifetime service to the sport. A 1973 graduate of Declo High School, Matthews wrestled at Boise State University from 1973-1977, winning the Big Sky’s Outstanding Wrestler award his senior year. After graduating from Boise State, Matthews moved to Jerome, where he coached wrestling for 22 years and football for 19 and also served District IV as a wrestling official for 27 years. He won the District IV wrestling Coach of the Year award 12 times and was awarded the Idaho High School Activities Association Distinguished Services award in 2010. Despite all the honors, Matthews said his greatest achievement is his three children playing college athletics. His daughter, Wendy, was a thrower at Utah State and threw the hammer in the 1996 Olympic trials in Atlanta, Ga. Matthews’ two sons, Timothy Lee (T.L.) and Ty wrestled at West Plains and Indiana, respectively. He coached T.L. and Ty and taught his athletes much more than moves on the mat. “His biggest passion I think was what the sport did for these kids,” Joy said. “He’s got a saying, ‘After wrestling, everything else is easy.’ He tried to prepare these kids for what life is really going to be like.” It didn’t matter whether he was coaching the best athlete on the team or the least talented in the gym, Matthews expected the best out of each wrestler every time they competed. If the wrestler was expected to win only one match all season and he did that, the coach was satisfied. “If he was capable of winning every match and didn’t wrestle to his capability, that’s when he would ride these kids,” Joy said. “He wouldn’t tolerate anything less than their best.”