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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  •  Bethel names new football coach

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  • From the big city to North Newton, the next football coach has been selected for Bethel College. Martin Mathis, an assistant coach at Marian University in Indianapolis, has been selected to succeed interim coach James Dotson, who completed his tenure at the end of the season. Dotson succeeded Travis Graber, who resigned before the season started after two seasons with the Threshers. Mathis is in his sixth season as assistant head coach at Marian and his seventh season as co-defensive coordinator. Marian is currently 9-1 and ranked fifth in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics season-ending poll. The Knights finished in a three-way tie for the title of the Mid-States Football Conference Mideast Division, stopping Northwestern (Iowa) 42-32 in the first round of the playoffs. Marian hosts conference rival Saint Francis (Ind.) in the quarterfinals. Mathis takes over a program that finished 0-10, 0-9 in KCAC play. The Threshers are on a 14-game losing streak. A native of Cincinnati, Mathis is a three-year letterwinner at linebacker at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated in 1995 with a degree in youth studies, African-American Studies and art studies. He then served two years as a graduate assistant with the Golden Gophers. He coached at several high schools, including Purcell Marian in Cincinnati. He later coached three seasons at Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, an NCAA Division III school in Terre Haute, Ind., coaching linebackers, special teams and finally serving as defensive coordinator. In his final season, Rose Hulman finished .500 after several losing seasons, with eight defensive players earning all-conference honors. Mathis served as a coach for the Cincinnati Marshals indoor football team in 2005, leading the team to the conference finals. His best season at Marian came in 2011, where the team finished 12-1, losing 30-27 in the NAIA playoff semifinals to St. Xavier (Ill.). The team led the NAIA in pass defense efficiency, rushing defense (72.4 yards per game) and total defense (208.9 yards per game). The team allowed just 7.4 points a game and had the no. 2 pass defense in the nation. Marian had five shutouts that season, four coming in the first five weeks of the season. He was named conference assistant coach of the year. During his tenure at Marian, he coached 33 all-conference players, including seven first-team picks last year. His father, Mike Mathis sr., was a former coach for Marian football, the University of Cincinnati basketball and served as a referee in the NBA, calling 2,340 games from 1976 to 2001. He called 12 games in the NBA Finals. His brother Monte Mathis is an assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks and is a former Ohio State assistant. Another brother played football for Penn State and in the NFL for San Francisco, Philadelphia and Carolina.  
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