Johnson Central football honors Coach Jim Matney in first game since his death

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 7:24 PM EDT
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PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - It is a different kind of Friday night at Johnson Central High School.

Late football and wrestling coach Jim Matney always said that football gave the community four or five hours to be together, no matter who you are. And in the first game since his death, that is exactly what’s happening.

The newly-christened Coach Jim Matney Field is always a packed house, but especially when they are honoring a mountain legend.

The Golden Eagles took the field Friday night to honor Coach Matney’s legacy. He won 184 games while earing the black and gold. He also instilled a sense of mountain pride in every player he coached.

Johnson Central became a marquee program in the mountains during his tenure winning two state titles and six region titles.

When interim head coach Steve Trimble hired him in 2004, he knew there was something special.

“I actually knew him when we actually wrestled against each other,” Trimble said. “He was an outstanding wrestler and stuff and everything I’ve ever dealt with him before then, he was a winner.”

“I don’t think anyone could have predicted he would have been this successful and in my opinion he was the best head coach in the state of Kentucky and we were so fortunate to have him,” Trimble added.

The team honored Coach Matney and his family before kicking off their game against Clay County.

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