American Football Database
Clay Matthews, Jr.

Clay Matthews (right) with his brother Bruce during the 1984 NFL season.
No. 57     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1956-03-15) March 15, 1956 (age 66)
Place of birth: Palo Alto, California
High School: Winnetka (IL) New Trier
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
College: Southern California
NFL Draft: 1978 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12
Debuted in 1978 for the Cleveland Browns
Last played in 1996 for the Atlanta Falcons
Career history
* Cleveland Browns ( 1978 1993)
Career highlights and awards
* Pro Bowl selection (1985, 1987, 1988, 1989)
Career NFL statistics as of 1996
Tackles     1,561
Sacks     69.5
INTs     16
Touchdowns     1
Stats at

William Clay Matthews, Jr. (born March 15, 1956) is a former American football linebacker who played for the Cleveland Browns and the Atlanta Falcons.

NFL Career

Matthews was the first round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns. He played 19 seasons and 278 games in the NFL (17th most in NFL history).[1] According to one source, he has the third most career tackles in NFL history, with no active player within 500 tackles of his mark.[2] 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.[citation needed]

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.[3]

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.

In 2014, he was named Director of Football Operations at Carter (Tenn.) HS, where he once served as an assistant coach.[4]


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 with the 116th pick by the Philadelphia Eagles. ([5]


  1. NFL Career Games Leaders
  2. [1]
  3. LB Clay Matthews Named NFC Defensive Player Of The Week,, September 22, 2010, Accessed December 9, 2012.
  5. Gary Klein, Trojans get ducks in a row up front, Los Angeles Times, October 27, 2007, Accessed July 3, 2008.

External links