Clay Matthews Jr.
Matthews during the 1984 NFL season.
|Date of birth:||March 15, 1956|
|Place of birth:||Palo Alto, California|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||245 lb (111 kg)|
|High school:||Arcadia (CA)|
|NFL Draft:||1978 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
William Clay Matthews Jr. (born March 15, 1956) is a former American football linebacker who played for the Cleveland Browns and the Atlanta Falcons. He was the first round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns and played in 278 games over 19 NFL seasons, the 17th most appearances in league history. Matthews had 1,561 tackles in his career, the third most in NFL history, and is trailed most closely by Junior Seau with 1,522 tackles.
Matthews was drafted by the Browns out of the University of Southern California with the 12th pick in the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft. Clay was a four-time Pro Bowler for Cleveland. He is also the oldest player to record a sack at 40 years, 282 days. Matthews was one of the first players to negotiate a large contract going into the NFL.
Matthews was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week twice in his career with the Cleveland Browns (Week 12, 1984 and Week 9, 1991). Clay and his son, Clay Matthews III, are the only father-son tandem to be named defensive player of the week in the NFL.
Life after pro football
Matthews resides in Agoura Hills, California. He serves as defensive coordinator at Oaks Christian High School, a coed private school in Westlake Village, California that his son Casey attended. He was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005, along with his brother Bruce. After his retirement, Clay Matthews opened a Pontiac Dealership in the Cleveland suburb of Euclid in 1992; Matthews's dealership has since closed.
Clay and his brother Bruce competed with members of their family on the popular TV game show Family Feud, with Richard Dawson. The Matthews Family won the game, and Clay was one of the two family members to play the final round. One of five questions he was asked in the final round was "What is the ideal age for a U.S. President?". He answered "32". The constitutional requisite age to become President is 35. Clay ended up scoring 41 points total, and the Matthews family did not win the $10,000 grand prize.
Clay Matthews' brother Bruce Matthews, who also played at USC, and father Clay Matthews Sr. were also NFL players. Two of his sons joined the football team at USC, while another joined the football team at the University of Oregon: Kyle Matthews was a safety at USC (2000–03) and Clay Matthews III played linebacker and defensive end at USC (2004–2008). After graduation, Clay Matthews III was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. Casey Matthews played linebacker at the University of Oregon (2007–2011), and was selected in Round 4 of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Matthews football dynasty family tree:
- NFL Career Games Leaders
- LB Clay Matthews Named NFC Defensive Player Of The Week, Packers.com, September 22, 2010, Accessed December 9, 2012.
- Gary Klein, Trojans get ducks in a row up front, Los Angeles Times, October 27, 2007, Accessed July 3, 2008.