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Saturday, February 18, 2012
DeSoto board approves Claude Mathis' return

By Randy Jennings

Just a little over a month after bidding farewell to Claude Mathis, the DeSoto ISD school board welcomed his return as football coach at DeSoto High School.

The board passed by a 5-0 vote to accept a rescission of Mathis’ resignation Saturday morning.

Mathis resigned to become running backs coach at the University of Houston in early January. He had a change of heart and spoke to DeSoto officials about a return a little over a week ago.

DeSoto ISD interim superintendent Levatta Levels said at Monday’s regular school board meeting it was her recommendation to halt the hiring process for a new coach, but the board stopped short of a rescission for the 37-year-old Mathis at that time. After meeting in closed session for 30 minutes on the matter, a board member proposed a wait until its next regular meeting Feb. 27 before taking action.

Saturday’s special meeting speeded up that process.

Mathis, 36-14 in four seasons at DeSoto, said the timing was wrong for the career-changing decision that he was forced to make in haste. Family, he said, has to be put first.

He added a college coaching position remains a career goal.

The DeSoto ISD received over 70 applications in a search to replace Mathis and was in the process of screening those last week.