John Mattos Inducted into ASCA Hall of Fame (VIDEO)


Coach John Mattos was inducted into the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame earlier this month in Dallas, Texas. Two-time Olympian Amy Van Dyken introduced him.

John Mattos graduated from Colorado State University in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in English. He was an All-American swimmer for CSU finishing 3rd and 5th in the 100/200 back at the 1969 NCAA D-I Championships and 7th and 5th in 1970. He was also and Honorable Mention All-American in 1969 in Water Polo. He came back to CSU and finished his college education in 1975 with his Teacher Certification in English. He was immediately hired at Fort Collin’s Poudre High School as an English teacher and coached both the girls and boys HS swimming teams.

Mattos began his swim coaching career in 1973 when he was hired as the head age group coach for the Southern California Aquatics swim team. When he returned to Colorado in the mid 70’s to get his teaching degree, he was hired as the head coach of the Fort Collins Tideriders (currently known as the Fort Collins Area Swim Team – FAST). Mattos actually fell in love with working with young people during the summer of 1968 when his seasonal beach lifeguard duties at the City of Huntington Beach were changed from Beach Guard to Junior Lifeguard Instructor. Training young 12 and under boys and girls to be comfortable in the ocean and then learning ocean life saving skills propelled John into a very long teaching and coaching career.

In 1980 Mattos was hired to coach the Colorado State Women’s Swimming and Diving Team and he remained their head coach for 31 years. He retired in July of 2011. Mattos had over 200 career dual meet wins. He guided the Rams to 77 individual conference titles, 2 District VII regional team titles, 5 High Country Athletic Conference championships, 2 Western Athletic Conference titles and 1 Mountain West Conference regular season team championship. He was named HCAC’s Coach of the Year 3 times, the WAC Coach of the Year twice and the MWC Coach of the Year once. In 1994 his team finished 12th at the NCAA Division I Championships as legendary swimmer, Amy Van Dyken, became the first CSU swimmer to win an NCAA individual event championship while setting a new NCAA and US record in the 50 yard Freestyle. Amy earned Swimmer of the Year honors for her efforts at that championship meet and Mattos was named NCAA Division I Coach of the Year by his peers. Amy went on to become the first woman from the USA to win 4 Gold Medals at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA and Mattos helped guide her to 2 more Gold’s at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

Mattos was selected as an assistant coach to the US (long course) World Championship swimming team that competed in Rome, Italy in 1994. He was later named an assistant to the 2004 US (short course) World Championship team that competed at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. He was inducted into CSU’s Athletic Hall of Fame in November of 2005. In Oct. of 2016 John received yet another honor, this one was as a recipient of CSU’s prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award. A very high honor for the man who was in the midst of his retirement trying to keep a low profile.

Mattos was a longtime member of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America and the American Swimming Coaches Association. He achieved Distinguished Coach Awards, Master Coach Awards and the Richard E. Steadman Award. He has spoken at the American Swimming Coaches Association, College Swimming Coaches Association of America and the Mexican Swimming annual coaches conventions. He has also presented at USA Swimming sponsored symposiums around the country to educate young up and coming swim coaches.

Along with wife, Connie, Mattos has lived in Fort Collins since 1975. They have a 25 year old daughter, Marissa Valorie, who graduated from Fossil Ridge HS where she was elected the girls swim team captain her senior year.