Where are they now? Alan Mathews makes difference in community

Fast, strong and mentally tough, Alan Mathews was one of Mancos High School's most-acclaimed athletes, playing three sports between 1994 and 1998.

Mathews has undertaken multiple community endeavors since high school.

A talented coach and dedicated family man, Mathews' success story continues.

High school superstar

During his four-year high school career, Mathews excelled in football, basketball and track.

A four-year varsity football player, Mathews started at quarterback and linebacker as a freshman, earned all-conference honors as a junior and was named to the all-state team as a senior.

In basketball, Mathews earned all-conference honors as a junior and pre-season all-state honors as a senior.

It was on the track that the Bluejays athlete hit new highs, winning five state individual state titles and helping Mancos team win the state title in 1998.

"The most special part.was winning a state championship with the guys that you had been teammates with since you were 9 years old," said Mathews.

He says the example set by athletes that preceded him was key to his success.

"One of the most important things was that there were a lot of great athletes before me," said Mathews. "Luther Elis, Ben Ellis, Matt Weaver.. Seeing those guys and the way they acted made a big difference."

Solid college athlete

Mathews was recruited to play football and run track at multiple colleges. He eventually settled on Colorado State University.

In two years of track at CSU, Mathews ran times of 10.65 in the 100-meter dash and 21.6 seconds in the 200-meter dash.

Even with those times, he was unable to rise to the top at the college level.

"It was an eye-opener," said Mathews. "At the time, you're just really young, you go into a program like that and there are a lot of talented people."

Missing football and wanting to be closer to home, Mathews transferred to Fort Lewis College after his sophomore year at CSU, joined the Skyhawk's football team as a free safety and enjoyed a solid football career.

Life after college

Graduating from Fort Lewis in 2002 with a degree in sociology and criminal justice, Mathews moved to Mancos, began work in construction management and began coaching.

Hired as the varsity track coach at Mancos High School, Mathews eventually began coaching football and continued coaching at the high school for several years.

"The coaching for me is a lot more important than what I did as an athlete," said Mathews. "I've been fortunate enough to coach 12 different athletes who have gone on to participate at the college level."

Now living in the Mancos area, Mathews spends his free time coaching youth wrestling and youth basketball and assisting with high school sports.

He said that he'd like to aid in the development of local athletes.

"Growing up in Mancos in the '80s and '90s, it was a real close-knit environment," said Mathews. "That's the same thing we're trying to build here with our youth programs."