Edwin "Eddie" Matthews

Edwin "Eddie" Matthews, Exceptional Educator Inducted 2012

  • Eddie Matthews was a native of Polk County and was a graduate of Southwest Missouri State University.  Mr. Matthews didn't start out to be a coach.  He was teaching science at Morrisville High School during World War II when teachers, especially coaches, were scarce.  The Superintendent of Schools asked him to add coaching to his duties.  Mr. Matthews accepted the challenge and his scientific approach to coaching soon turned the team into a top contender.  Mr. Matthews came to Buffalo High School in an unusual way.  His team from Morrisville were playing in a tournament in Buffalo.  The Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Mallory, was so impressed by the gentlemanly behavior of the boys from Morrisville that he made it a goal to meet Mr. Matthews.  When they finally met a few months later, Mr. Mallory told him "we need a new coach and we think you're the man".  Coach Matthews came to Buffalo High School in 1945 and the basketball team won their first state basketball championship under his direction in 1949.  When writing about the 1949 championship game the Springfield newspaper headline read, "David Swats Goliath".  At a time when all teams played against each other and there were no size classifications, Buffalo High School defeated Kansas City Rockhurst High School by a score of 57 to 44.  Rockhurst High School had a larger high school enrollment than the entire city of Buffalo at the time.    After leaving Buffalo High School in 1953 Mr. Matthews went on to coach on the college level at Southwest Missouri State University.  Coach Matthews was here for only 8 years, but, his family recall that he said many times his years in Buffalo were the happiest of his coaching career.  He is remembered by his players and students here in Dallas County R-I School District for being an honorable and respected gentleman both on and off the court.  Grown men are often brought to tears when they talk about the character of the man nearly 60 years after he left Buffalo High School.