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LB Thomas Matthews (official thread)

Discussion in 'Buckeye Alumni' started by Buckskin86, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. Nate

    Nate I am Nate and I approved this message.

    Senior leadership plays a large role in team success. We've had some pretty solid leaders the past 3 seasons.

    I wonder who the next wave of leaders will be next year? Don't really know if there is going to be many senior "in your face leaders" next season. Many of next years seniors seem to be pretty free spirited or quite. Especially on defense.

    To me it seems next years true leaders are going to be next years juniors.
  2. Buckskin86

    Buckskin86 Moderator

  3. AKAK

    AKAK If you hear the siren its already too late Staff Member Tech Admin

    Just as an extra... is case anyone missed this stuff before the NCSU games...

    Here's a bit on Bo Rein- N.C. State has an award named for Rein for "vital contribution in an unsung role" which, I suppose, would fit MR. Matthews as well.

    Published: Sep 15, 2004
    Modified: Sep 15, 2004 7:07 AM

    Bo Rein's kind of game
    Former N.C. State coach Bo Rein, who died in plane crash, played at OSU

    By CHIP ALEXANDER, Staff Writer

    Had Bo Rein lived, he would be 59. He might still be a college football coach. Who knows, he might even be coaching his alma mater Saturday against N.C. State, a team he once coached.
    Such was his dream, his former wife said Tuesday.

    "Oh, God, yes," said Suzanne Klang, remarried and living in Portland, Ore. "That would have been the ultimate for Bo: coaching at Ohio State. I could see that happening, yes."

    Bo Rein had been a three-year starter at halfback for Ohio State, wearing No. 45 before Archie Griffin came along to win two Heisman trophies and retire the number.

    At age 30, Rein became the nation's youngest major-college head coach when N.C. State hired him. In 1979, his fourth season at NCSU, he led the Wolfpack to the ACC championship -- the school's last football title.

    He was considered a fast riser in the coaching profession. Soon after the 1979 season, Louisiana State hired him away from N.C. State, believing he could restore the Tigers' lost football luster.

    "He had the four years experience as a head coach and was going to a good situation at LSU," said Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato, who was Rein's defensive coordinator at State.

    But Bo Rein wouldn't coach another game. At 34, he was killed in a bizarre plane crash strikingly similar to the one that claimed the life of golfer Payne Stewart in 1999, leaving behind a wife and two young daughters.

    "That was a huge shock to everyone," Amato said. "You just never expect something like that to happen to anyone, and not at such an early age.

    "Bo was a good, young, bright head coach. He was a coach with a lot of fire in him, one who related so well with the players."

    In January 1980, Rein took a recruiting trip to Shreveport, La. He was on a private plane back to Baton Rouge when the plane suddenly veered off course, climbing to 40,000 feet.

    The twin-engine Cessna flew more than 1,000 miles in a northeasterly direction, passing over Raleigh. It ran out of gas and crashed into the Atlantic about 100 miles east of Norfolk, Va.

    No wreckage was recovered. Neither were the bodies of Rein or his pilot. The National Safety Transportation Board later ruled that it could not determine a probable cause of the accident.

    "We've always believed it was depressurization of the plane's cabin," Suzanne Klang said. "Maybe not as sudden as what happened to Payne Stewart's plane, but a more gradual depressurization where Bo and [the pilot] didn't know it was happening until it was too late.

    "I want to believe Bo was asleep. No terror, no pain."

    Rein's widow, who was still living in Cary, filed a $10 million lawsuit in New Orleans in November 1980, naming Cessna Aircraft Co. among the defendants. The suit was later settled for an undisclosed amount, she said.

    "I always thought Bo was about invincible," she said. "He always seemed to be such a lucky person, so optimistic things would turn out right, that nothing could harm him. Not at that age.

    "But no one is invincible. Football and Bo's coaching was a big part of our lives, and his death was very hard for the girls, obviously. But you have to move on."

    The settlement of the suit, she said, "helped us, gave us the money to live on."

    LSU also helped pay for the college educations of Kris and Linea Rein; both were given $10,000, Klang said. Kris graduated from the University of Washington and Linea from Oregon.

    Kris Moxness lives in Portland. Her husband, a member of the Army Reserves, recently left for service in Iraq. Linea is a real estate agent in Boulder, Colo., Klang said.

    "It was all so tragic, what happened," said former Wolfpack center Jim Ritcher, who played for Rein. "Coach Rein had such a bright future in front of him."

    Robert "Bo" Rein, an Ohio native, learned a lot about the game from fabled Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes, starting at halfback in 1964, '65 and '66. He was the leading receiver as a sophomore and junior, and the Buckeyes' top rusher in 1966.

    "He wasn't the biggest guy, but pound for pound he was tough as they come," said Greg Lashutka, a former Ohio State receiver and a team captain in 1965. "He had that inner drive and did everything to the fullest. He could play."

    Rein also could play baseball. He starred at shortstop and in the outfield for the Buckeyes, who won the College World Series in 1966. After his senior year, Rein was drafted by both the NFL's Baltimore Colts and baseball's Cleveland Indians.

    Rein was playing for the Portland Beavers, the Indians' Triple-A farm team, when he met Suzanne Wheeler. The two were married, and Rein soon had a new profession when Achilles tendon and hamstring problems curtailed his baseball career.

    A former Ohio State assistant, Lou Holtz, was putting together a staff at William & Mary. Holtz hired Rein, then brought Rein with him to N.C. State in 1972.

    Rein was Holtz's offensive backfield coach for three years before becoming offensive coordinator at Arkansas in 1975. But after the '75 season, Holtz became head coach of the New York Jets.

    The late Willis Casey, then the Pack's athletics director, considered a number of candidates to replace Holtz, but he kept coming back to Rein.

    "Willis liked his youth and aggressiveness," said Frank Weedon, senior associate AD emeritus. "He liked Bo's offensive mind. Willis also knew Bo knew Lou's system, that it wouldn't be a big transition."

    The Pack finished 3-7-1 in Rein's first year. But State went 8-4 and 9-3 the next two years, then won the ACC title in 1979, going 5-1 in the league and 7-4 overall.

    "Coach Rein was always upbeat, always motivating you, always with positive reinforcement," said David Horning, a former defensive end who is senior associate athletics director at NCSU.

    Horning was stunned and saddened when Rein left for LSU. So was a teammate, Curtis Rein, Bo's younger brother and a receiver for the Pack.

    "I really think Bo could have been a superstar in coaching," Horning said.

    On Saturday, Suzanne Klang said she hopes to catch the NCSU-Ohio State game on television, saying she'll be cheering for the Pack.

    And, yes, perhaps wondering what might have been.

    "I still have all of Bo's awards, the news clippings," she said. "It was an exciting, exciting time."
  4. Alan

    Alan Banned

    Matthews...A Great Buckeye Example...

    what a great story.....

    Matthews is unsung hero of Buckeyes’ bowl run
    Tuesday, December 28, 2004

    Thomas Matthews. The name doesn’t jump out at you, not like A.J. Hawk or Ted Ginn Jr.

    As Ohio State players go, Matthews is an afterthought, one of those Buckeyes whose legacy will be lost outside the walls of the locker room.

    Oh, but inside those four walls, the senior backup linebacker commands attention like Gen. George Patton against the backdrop of an American flag.

    Among teammates, he is not thomas matthews.

    "I put his name in all caps," said receiver Santonio Holmes, who was the first player to cast a write-in vote for Matthews for the Bo Rein Most Inspirational Player Award this season. "Fans say, ‘Who’s Thomas Matthews, but every guy on this team knows who he is."

    Matthews is not the fastest guy on the team. Not the biggest. Not nearly the best. But in the playground tradition of choosing sides, he would be chosen earlier than expected; the kid with the intangibles.

    Matthews, who shared the Bo Rein award with running back Mike DeMaria, is a motivational force on a team that desperately needed it during an up-anddown season that peaked with a win against Michigan.

    It was before the Michigan game that Matthews left his most indelible mark, gathering the other 19 seniors around him as he addressed the underclassmen minutes before kickoff.

    "I just told them that I didn’t want to be that guy who said, ‘I shoulda or coulda beat Michigan and didn’t," Matthews said. "But I wanted them to know I couldn’t do it alone. We want to beat Michigan again, but we can’t do it without you. We need all 120 guys, walk-ons, everybody."

    The unrehearsed, straight from-the-heart speech moistened many eyes. Not since Billy Dee Williams bid good-bye to James Caan in Brian’s Song had so much testosterone melted into a heap on the floor.

    "It was one of those speeches that really gets to you," said quarterback Troy Smith, who after Matthews’ motivational delivery went out and played the best game of his career.

    Every team has its stars, but the best of the best are always in the minority, dwarfed by the good-but-not-great majority who toil in relative obscurity. The teams who rise to the top only do so when that majority buys into the role system. That’s no easy assignment considering most Ohio State players were the stars of their high-school teams.

    It takes someone such as Matthews, someone who not only sees the big picture but who can articulate the importance of it, to unite the elite with those relegated to the bench.

    This, as much as anything, is Matthews’ gift to the Buckeyes.

    When fifth-year senior Bam Childress lost his starting receiver job to redshirt freshman Anthony Gonzalez, it was Matthews who consoled his teammate.

    "I just told him to go out and keep doing his thing. You can’t get discouraged about what happens. You can’t be down on yourself or hold a grudge against somebody for something you can’t control," Matthews said.

    If that sounds like maturity speaking, it’s because Matthews has always been the voice of reason. Credit it to being the oldest son of Thomas and Geraldine Matthews of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Or maybe the common sense comes from spending the formative years of his football career shoulder to shoulder with much older boys.

    Whatever the reason, Matthews makes it his mission to pass his experiences to younger players.

    "Things would have been different for me if not for Thomas," said sophomore cornerback Ashton Youboty, who arrived in Columbus as a wide-eyed recruit from Texas. "My summer job was right around from his house and he would let me come over. He was the kind of guy I just knew I could hang out with; a welcoming kind of guy."

    Don’t be fooled, however, by Matthews’ soft side. He might be a teacher — his major is computer applications — but he can carve up his class when it’s needed.

    Before the Indiana game this season, and after Ohio State had lost three consecutive games, Matthews challenged his teammates.

    "I felt I had something to say and couldn’t let it go anymore," he said. "So right before kickoff, I said, ‘If you’re not ready right now, you need to take your stuff off and leave it in the locker room. There are 100 million people out there who would die to be in your position."

    The Buckeyes won that game and three of the next four to earn a trip to Wednesday’s Alamo Bowl.

    Matthews never carried the ball this season, but shouldered an even heavier load.

    As Holmes was quick to point out: "Thomas carried this team on his back."

    Rob Oller is a sports reporter for The Dispatch .
  5. MililaniBuckeye

    MililaniBuckeye The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St Staff Member Tech Admin

    Guess who is leading this pre-game whoop-up before The Game...

    (right-click and save the link target)
  6. Helpinghand

    Helpinghand Freshman

    Thanks Mili

    I never saw that, thank you VERY much for posting it!
  7. 11bravoBuck

    11bravoBuck Newbie

    Alan, Mili thanks for your posts.
  8. Deety

    Deety Senior

    I needed something to smile about earlier today, and found two reasons in this thread. Great article. I hadn't seen the video before (having watched The Game LIVE :biggrin:), but let it loop and you can't help but feel ready to take on the world. Thanks, guys!
  9. scooter1369

    scooter1369 HTTR Forever.

    Anybody feel like posting that article in its entirety one more time in this thread? Three wasn't nearly enough. :tongue2:
  10. Helpinghand

    Helpinghand Freshman

    Congrats to Thomas Matthews

    He graduated today!!!

  11. bucknut11

    bucknut11 Defense still wins Championships

    Way to go!

  12. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Great job TM.
  13. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    Nice going, TM. Based on his character and leadership, he should be successful in whatever direction he takes in his life.
  14. Deety

    Deety Senior

    Good for him! :) What a pleasure it's been to learn about this great Buckeye. Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

    Went back and watched The Game whoopup to celebrate - I love that clip!
  15. Steve19

    Steve19 Watching. Always watching. Staff Member

    A class act all around! Well done!

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