Hall of Fame head coach Phil Mathews enters his fourth season (2016-17) at Riverside City College (RCC) and 45th season of coaching at the high school or collegiate level.
During the 2015-16 campaign, Mathews guided the RCC Tigers to a 11-16 overall won-lost record and 4-8 mark in the Orange Empire Conference (OEC), tying for third place in the conference standings.
In 2014-15 campaign, Mathews coached the RCC Tigers to a 10-17 overall won-lost record and 5-7 mark in the OEC, tying for fourth place in the conference standings.
A native of Riverside, Mathews arrived at RCC in June 2013 after spending three years as an assistant coach at UCLA where he worked alongside Head Coach Ben Howland.
Mathews coached 21 seasons at the four-year collegiate level, including nine years (1996-2004) as head coach at the University of San Francisco (USF), and four years each as an assistant coach at the University of Nebraska (2007-10), under Head Coach Doc Sadler, and at Cal State Fullerton (1982-85), under Head Coach George McQuarn.
During his collegiate coaching career, Mathews has amassed over 500 wins as a men’s basketball coach. Mathews honed his coaching skills in the community college ranks, compiled a 361-91 in 13 seasons as a head coach and won a conference title 11 times.
Following a two-year (2004-2006) stint as head coach at San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC), Mathews returned to the NCAA Division I level. Mathews guided the SBVC Wolverines to an impressive 51-17 record.
In his first season (2004-05) at SBVC, the Wolverines won the Foothill Conference crown with a 13-1 record, reached the state semifinals and finished tied for third in the state and went 27-5. That team had every player on the roster move on to a four-year college with a
Mathews’ first stint as a head coach at the community college level came at Ventura College (VC), where he spent ten seasons (1986-1995) and recorded a won-lost record of 296-56. He guided the Pirates to ten straight Western State Conference (WSC) – North Division championships. Prior to his arrival, Ventura had not a conference crown in 17 seasons. All but
one of his teams earned at least 20 victories. On six occasions, including each of his last five seasons, his VC squads won at least 30 contests.
During the 1994-95 campaign, Ventura went 37-1, ranked second nationally, and won the second California Community College state championship under Mathews. The Pirates also won the state championship to cap the 1986-87 campaign.
He then moved on to USF and was the Dons’ head coach for nine seasons (1995-96 through 2003-04). Among the early highlights was a 19-11 mark in 1997-98 that led to San Francisco’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 16 seasons.
Mathews was named to the California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1997.
A two-year basketball letter-winner 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 (46), Akilah (37), Jordan (21), and Jonah (17). In 2015-16, Jordan is entering his junior season on the University of California (Berkeley) Golden Bears men's basketball team and has earned two varsity letters with Cal.