Peru State holds tribute for late softball coach

Peru State holds tribute for late softball coach
Senior Rachel Carlos presented Renee Mathews with a lei after receiving her holiday ornament (Courtesy Photo)

PERU – Peru State College President Dr. Dan Hanson proclaimed April 21 as Mark Mathews Day during a tribute to the late Bobcats softball coach before the team’s game vs. Culver-Stockton.

Hanson welcomed guests to campus, including many members of the Mathews family. He noted Mathews’ long tenure at Peru State and several of his accomplishments which included being the winningest softball coach in the school’s history, the 15th-best winning mark in the NAIA at the time of his passing, the 48 previous Scholar-Athletes and numerous Scholar Teams, and his planting of a tree for each graduating senior.

In addition, Hanson noted that the 1996 team was purchasing a paver in the Performing Arts Theatre entrance to recognize Mathews. Also, it was noted that new markers would be made for each of the former player’s trees and that a tree would be planted in Coach Mathews’ honor as well.

Interim Athletic Director Steve Schneider added Mathews was strong and sturdy as an oak tree as he stood the test of time while overcoming adversity due to the lack of support at times for the program. He also noted that Mathews branched out like an oak tree as he not only served just softball, but the entire athletic department, college, and community.

At the end of the reading of the proclamation, Dr. Hanson presented each senior with a copy of it. In addition, members of the Mathews’ family received the proclamation as well.

To top it off, the Bobcats swept the Wildcats, 10-9 and 13-12.

Mark Mathews Day Proclamation

WHEREAS, we are here today to express our appreciation to Mark Mathews and honor him for his distinguished 25-year career with Peru State College and his dedicated service to student-athletes; and

WHEREAS, at the time of his passingMark was beginning his 25th season; and

WHEREAS, the 1996 season was a Peru State first as Mark led the Bobcats to a school-best 42-23 mark and took them to their only NAIA National Tournament; and

WHEREAS, the 1996 team was inducted into the Peru State Hall of Fame in 2015; and

WHEREAS, in 2006, the Bobcats won the MCAC regular season and tournament titles; these were the first MCAC championships in softball for the College; and

WHEREAS, Mark was awarded the MCAC and Region IV “Coach of the Year” titles in 2006; and

WHEREAS, Mark’s softball teams have won 584 games, which is over 70% of all of the wins in Bobcat softball history; and

WHEREAS, heading into the 2018 season, Mark was 15th in the NAIA as a winningest coach; and

WHEREAS, Forty-eight of his players earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors, while many others were NFCA Scholar-Athletes, and CoSIDA All-District honorees; and

WHEREAS, numerous Bobcat softball teams were named as NAIA Scholar Teams; and

WHEREAS, Mark served the City of Peru, Nebraska, as a member of the City Council and the last 12 years on the Peru Volunteer Fire Department; and

WHEREAS, on behalf of Peru State College, I want to express our sincere appreciation to Mark for his achievements on and off the field;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Dr. Daniel Hanson, President of Peru State College, do hereby proclaim Saturday, April 21, 2018, as: Mark Mathews Day on the Peru State College campus, and urge all alumni, students, faculty and staff to join in remembering Mark and his outstanding career with student athletics and expressing our sincere appreciation to his family for Mark’s unwavering dedication and service to students and Peru State College.

PROCLAIMED this 21rd day of April in 2018.

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