Three days after longtime football coach Jim Matney died after a battle with COVID-19, Johnson Central High School put his name on its stadium.
“From tonight, Eagle Field will be renamed Coach Jim Matney Field in honor of our beloved coach,” Johnson Central Athletics tweeted Friday. “We will always be #MatneyStrong.”
The announcement came before the Golden Eagles whipped Clay County 42-6 on Friday to move to 4-2. Zack McCoart (154 yards, two touchdowns) and Carter Conley (100 yards, two touchdowns) made big games on the ground to lead Johnson Central.
Matney died Tuesday at the age of 62.
“There will be no other coach like him”, former player Hunter McCloud told WSAZ-TV of Huntington, West Virginia. “To see them rename Coach Jim Matney Field, it was going to happen sooner or later anyway. It was just a lot sooner than any of us wanted. “
Matney is one of 12 high school football coaches in Kentucky history to have won 300 wins and led Johnson Central to five straight Class 4A championship games from 2015 to 2019. The Golden Eagles won titles in 2016 and 2019.
Matney began his coaching career in 1982 as an assistant at Belfry – his alma mater – before moving to head coach in 1984 at Sheldon Clark, where he posted a 124-94 record in 20 seasons. He also coached the school’s wrestling team and led the Cardinals to back-to-back state titles in 1994 and 1995.
He became the coach of Johnson Central in 2004 and posted a record of 186-39, giving him a career rating of 310-133. He was named Kentucky High School Football Coach of the Year by The Courier Journal in 2006.
Steve Trimble is Johnson Central’s interim coach. The Golden Eagles are ranked No. 4 in Class 4A by the Associated Press.
Matney’s funeral is set for 1 p.m. Monday at the football field. Tours will start at 11 a.m.
Frake’s Top 10
Each week, Jason Frakes will provide his ranking of the 10 best Kentucky high school football teams, regardless of class:
# 10 – Beechwood (6-0). Cameron Hergott threw two touchdown passes and rushed to score in a 21-14 win over Dixie Heights. Following: at Covington Holy Cross (1-5) Friday.
N ° 9 – Corbin (6-0). Seth Huff rushed for three touchdowns in a 56-24 win over Simon Kenton. Following: at Knox Central (3-3) Friday.
# 8 – South Warren (5-1). Caden Veltkamp had 202 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-7 win over Bowling Green. Following: hosts McCracken County (1-6) on Friday.
# 7 – Boyle County (5-1). Did not play. Following: hosts Lexington Catholic (5-1) on Friday.
N ° 6 – Trinity (1-6). Brady Willis had 313 yards and rushed for 104 yards and a score in a 33-32 win at nationally ranked Cincinnati St. Xavier. Following: at Ballard (4-2) on Friday.
No.5 – Lexington Christian (6-0). Did not play. Following: in Washington County (3-4) on Friday.
No.4 – Frederick Douglass (7-0). Give up victory over Grant County due to COVID-19 protocols. Following: hosts Great Crossing (5-1) on October 15.
N ° 3 – Manual (5-1). Did not play. Following: welcomes Saint-Xavier (5-1) on Friday.
N ° 2 – Saint-Xavier (5-1). Adam Boone and Jack Sivori rushed for touchdowns in a 13-3 win at Ryle. Following: at the Manuel (5-1) on Friday.
N ° 1 – Male (5-0). Did not play. Following: in the South (5-1) on Friday.
Jason Frakes: 502-582-4046; [email protected]; Twitter: @kyhighs.