Paintsville, Ky. — Local Coaching legend Jim Matney passed away on Tuesday peacefully after complications from COVID-19.
Matney, 62, won multiple state championships at Johnson Central including a 21-20 victory over Boyle Co. in 2019. The Golden Eagles played in five straight Class 4A state title games winning two of those with the other one coming in 2016 with a 48-0 victory over Franklin-Simpson.
Johnson Central is lighting up its football stadium at 7:30 p.m. tonight in memory of Jim Matney and his accomplishments, per Golden Eagles SID Kayla VanHoose. The Golden Eagle community is asked to be at Eagle Field at that time.
Matney is revered as one of the top football and wrestling coaches in the country with high school coaching tenures at both Johnson Central and Sheldon Clark. He amassed a tremendous record of 309 – 132 as a football coach, including five state championship games appearances and two Class 4A state titles and has been honored as Kentucky Football Coach of the Year.
As a wrestling coach, Matney was equally as dominant. He coached Johnson Central to the last 12 consecutive regional championships including two State Duels championships and numerous individual state champions. He also earned two state team championships at Sheldon Clark. In recognition of his tremendous success, Matney was named the NFHS National High School Wrestling Coach of the Year in 2020.
“ Coach Jim Matney will most certainly be missed by Johnson County Schools. But above all, we ask that you would please keep Coach Matney’s wife, Debby, and boys in your prayers, as well as, the young men on the Central Football and Wrestling Teams.”