The Bruin Report for 4-21-12 features guests Charney Burk from women's soccer and men's basketball assistant coach Phil Mathews
The Bruin Report for 2-8-12 features basketball assistant coach Phil Mathews and alum Tracy Murray.
Phil Mathews enters his third season as an assistant coach for the UCLA men's basketball team and his 41st year coaching at the high school or collegiate level.
Mathews' primary coaching responsibility lies with the post players, in addition to assisting with UCLA's recruiting efforts. He was largely responsible for helping UCLA secure the No. 1-ranked recruiting class in 2012 (as ranked by ESPN.com), an incoming group which has also been rated No. 2 by Scout.com and Rivals.com.
Mathews arrived at UCLA in April 2010 after spending four seasons as an assistant coach at Nebraska, where he worked alongside head coach Doc Sadler. He has spent 24 seasons coaching at the Division I college level, including nine years (1995-2004) as the head coach at San Francisco.
During his collegiate coaching career, Mathews has amassed nearly 500 wins as a head coach.
Following a two-year stint (2005-06) as head coach at San Bernardino Valley College, Mathews returned to the Division I level in 2006-07 as an assistant coach on Sadler's first staff at Nebraska. His experience as an assistant coach in Lincoln, Neb., over four years proved vital to the Huskers' success. During that stretch, Nebraska posted 70 wins and earned a pair of postseason appearances.
Working primarily with the guards, Mathews helped Nebraska become one of the nation's premier ballhandling teams. The Huskers ranked fourth in the nation in turnover margin (+5.8) during the 2008-09 season. The Huskers' guards also helped Nebraska post at least 200 3-pointers three times in four years, each time ranking among the top five totals in the Huskers' record book. In four seasons, Nebraska's point guards ranked among the top seven in the Big 12 Conference in assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio.
Mathews spent the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons at San Bernardino Valley College, where he guided the Wolverines to an impressive 51-17 record. In his first season, San Bernardino went 27-5 and won the conference title with a 13-1 record. That team saw every player on the roster move on to a four-year school with a scholarship.
Mathews served as head coach at San Francisco from 1995-96 through 2003-04. The Dons won at least 16 games in each of his first three seasons. Among the early highlights included a 19-11 mark in 1997-98 that led to San Francisco's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 16 years.
In 1999-2000, Mathews led San Francisco to another 19-win season. Two of his final three USF squads posted winning records. All three finished in the top four in the West Coast Conference standings. He logged a 139-123 cumulative record in nine seasons at San Francisco.
Mathews honed his coaching skills in the junior college ranks, compiling a 349-73 record in 12 years as head coach at the junior college level. His squads won a conference title 11 times during those 12 seasons.
Mathews' first stint as head coach at the junior college level came at Ventura College, where he spent 10 seasons (1986-95) and recorded a 298-56 record. His teams won 10 straight Western States Conference titles. Prior to Mathews' arrival, Ventura College had not won a league championship in 17 seasons.
All but one of his teams earned at least 20 victories and six times - including each of his last five years in charge - his teams won at least 30 contests. During the 1994-95 campaign, Ventura went 37-1, ranked second nationally and won the second California state junior college title under Mathews. Eleven players recruited to Ventura for that season earned Division I scholarships.
Mathews entered the coaching ranks as an assistant coach at UC Irvine in 1972-73. He spent the next year at the high school level before returning to UC Irvine for four years (1975-78). Mathews then served as head coach at Santa Ana Valley High School, where he won two league titles in three years.
Following the 1980-81 campaign, Mathews returned to the college level where he was an assistant for four years at Cal State Fullerton (1982-85) before taking over at Ventura College from 1985-86 through 1994-95.
A two-year basketball letterwinner at UC Irvine, Mathews earned his bachelor's degree in comparative cultures in 1972 and added a master's degree in education in 1975. Mathews is married to the former Margie Holland. He has four children, Sabrina (43), Akilah Saffold (35), Jordan (18) and Jonah (14).