Coming Up

Coaches

Print
John Matsko
Offensive Line
College:
Kent State
Experience:
24

Bio

COACHING
With change as the primary constant, John Matsko has done a masterful job with the Panthers offensive line since coming to Carolina, and that was never more true than in 2014. After having an ever-changing line almost weekly throughout the season, Matsko persevered until his unit became a key ingredient in the team’s successful playoff push.

Playing much of the season with four starters who entered the league as undrafted rookies, Matsko put together a unit that paved the way for the Panthers to finish seventh in the NFL in rushing and ninth in first downs.  Carolina fielded a different starting offensive line for seven consecutive games beginning in Week 6 before settling on a lineup that featured two rookies and cleared paths for one of the league’s most potent offenses down the stretch.

The year mirrored the previous two seasons in many ways. In 2013, Matsko's unit featured five different starting combinations, and only two players – center Ryan Kalil and tackle Jordan Gross – started all 16 games for a 12-4 team. Kalil was named first-team All-Pro and was selected to his fourth career Pro Bowl, while Gross earned Pro Bowl honors for the third time in his final season.

In 2012, despite losing Kalil after five games and starting eight different combinations, the offensive line helped the Panthers total 5,771 yards and produce 328 first downs, the second-highest marks in team history. Guard Amini Silatolu, a second-round draft choice from Division II Midwestern State, started 15 games and earned all-rookie honors.

In his first season as the Panthers' offensive line coach in 2011, Matsko led a unit that helped Carolina total more than 100 yards rushing for a franchise-record 14 consecutive games en route to accumulating 2,408 yards on the ground, the third most in team history. The Panthers set team records with an average of 5.41 yards per carry and 139 rushing first downs and became the first team in NFL history to feature three 700-yard rushers.  Kalil was named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl and first as a starter and earned second-team All-Pro honors.

From 2008-10, Matsko helped the Baltimore Ravens rank in the top five in the NFL in rushing in two of his three seasons, finishing fourth in 2008 and fifth in 2009. He mentored current Panther tackle Michael Oher to the NFL's all-rookie team in 2009, and in 2008 the team yielded only 33 sacks, the second fewest in team history.

Prior to joining Baltimore, Matsko spent two seasons as the offensive line coach of the Kansas City Chiefs from 2006-07. Despite utilizing five different starting combinations due to injuries in 2006, the offensive line paved the way for the Chiefs to place ninth in the NFL in rushing and compile a team-record 11 100-yard rushing games. Under Matsko's guidance, guards Will Shields and Brian Waters earned Pro Bowl recognition.

Nowhere was Matsko's versatility in both the run and pass blocking aspects of offensive line play on display more than during his tenure with the St. Louis Rams from 1999-2005. With Matsko presiding over the offensive line for one of the most dynamic offenses in NFL history, the Rams led the league in total offense for three consecutive years from 1999-2001, including a record 5,232 yards in 2000, and won Super Bowl XXXIV. He played an instrumental role in the development of two Pro Bowlers - tackle Orlando Pace and guard Adam Timmerman.

Matsko began his NFL coaching career as offensive line coach of the Phoenix Cardinals in 1992 and served in that capacity for two seasons. In 1993, the offensive front opened holes for the Cardinals to have their first 1,000-yard rusher since 1985. He then moved to New Orleans in 1994 and coached three seasons with the Saints. Under Matsko's tutelage, tackle Willie Roaf earned three Pro Bowl selections, and the Saints rated seventh in the league for fewest sacks allowed in 1994 and 1995 and third in 1996.

Following his stint with New Orleans, Matsko assumed the same role from 1997-98 with the New York Giants, where they improved both their pass protection and run blocking. The Giants allowed 24 fewer sacks and jumped from 19th to seventh in the NFL in rushing in 1997 compared to 1996.

Before entering the NFL coaching ranks, Matsko spent 17 years on the college level. He worked as a graduate assistant at Miami (Ohio) from 1974-75 and returned as offensive line coach in 1977 after being the head coach at Danbury High School in Lakeside-Marblehead, Ohio, in 1976. Matsko served as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at North Carolina from 1978-84 prior to stops as offensive line coach at Navy in 1985 and Arizona in 1986. He joined Southern California as offensive line coach in 1987 and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1989 for his final three seasons with the Trojans.

PLAYING AND PERSONAL
Matsko played fullback at Kent State and lettered three years from 1970-72. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in business education in 1973 and later earned a master's degree in education from Miami (Ohio) in 1976.

HISTORY
Fullback: Kent State 1970-72. College coach: Miami (Ohio) 1974-75, 1977, North Carolina 1978-84, Navy 1985, Arizona 1986, Southern California 1987-91. Pro coach: Phoenix Cardinals 1992-93, New Orleans Saints 1994-96, New York Giants 1997-98, St. Louis Rams 1999-2005, Kansas City Chiefs 2006-07, Baltimore Ravens 2008-10, joined Panthers in 2011.

COACHING
With change as the primary constant, John Matsko has done a masterful job with the Panthers offensive line since coming to Carolina, and that was never more true than in 2014. After having an ever-changing line almost weekly throughout the season, Matsko persevered until his unit became a key ingredient in the team’s successful playoff push.

Playing much of the season with four starters who entered the league as undrafted rookies, Matsko put together a unit that paved the way for the Panthers to finish seventh in the NFL in rushing and ninth in first downs.  Carolina fielded a different starting offensive line for seven consecutive games beginning in Week 6 before settling on a lineup that featured two rookies and cleared paths for one of the league’s most potent offenses down the stretch.

The year mirrored the previous two seasons in many ways. In 2013, Matsko's unit featured five different starting combinations, and only two players – center Ryan Kalil and tackle Jordan Gross – started all 16 games for a 12-4 team. Kalil was named first-team All-Pro and was selected to his fourth career Pro Bowl, while Gross earned Pro Bowl honors for the third time in his final season.

In 2012, despite losing Kalil after five games and starting eight different combinations, the offensive line helped the Panthers total 5,771 yards and produce 328 first downs, the second-highest marks in team history. Guard Amini Silatolu, a second-round draft choice from Division II Midwestern State, started 15 games and earned all-rookie honors.

In his first season as the Panthers' offensive line coach in 2011, Matsko led a unit that helped Carolina total more than 100 yards rushing for a franchise-record 14 consecutive games en route to accumulating 2,408 yards on the ground, the third most in team history. The Panthers set team records with an average of 5.41 yards per carry and 139 rushing first downs and became the first team in NFL history to feature three 700-yard rushers.  Kalil was named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl and first as a starter and earned second-team All-Pro honors.

From 2008-10, Matsko helped the Baltimore Ravens rank in the top five in the NFL in rushing in two of his three seasons, finishing fourth in 2008 and fifth in 2009. He mentored current Panther tackle Michael Oher to the NFL's all-rookie team in 2009, and in 2008 the team yielded only 33 sacks, the second fewest in team history.

Prior to joining Baltimore, Matsko spent two seasons as the offensive line coach of the Kansas City Chiefs from 2006-07. Despite utilizing five different starting combinations due to injuries in 2006, the offensive line paved the way for the Chiefs to place ninth in the NFL in rushing and compile a team-record 11 100-yard rushing games. Under Matsko's guidance, guards Will Shields and Brian Waters earned Pro Bowl recognition.

Nowhere was Matsko's versatility in both the run and pass blocking aspects of offensive line play on display more than during his tenure with the St. Louis Rams from 1999-2005. With Matsko presiding over the offensive line for one of the most dynamic offenses in NFL history, the Rams led the league in total offense for three consecutive years from 1999-2001, including a record 5,232 yards in 2000, and won Super Bowl XXXIV. He played an instrumental role in the development of two Pro Bowlers - tackle Orlando Pace and guard Adam Timmerman.

Matsko began his NFL coaching career as offensive line coach of the Phoenix Cardinals in 1992 and served in that capacity for two seasons. In 1993, the offensive front opened holes for the Cardinals to have their first 1,000-yard rusher since 1985. He then moved to New Orleans in 1994 and coached three seasons with the Saints. Under Matsko's tutelage, tackle Willie Roaf earned three Pro Bowl selections, and the Saints rated seventh in the league for fewest sacks allowed in 1994 and 1995 and third in 1996.

Following his stint with New Orleans, Matsko assumed the same role from 1997-98 with the New York Giants, where they improved both their pass protection and run blocking. The Giants allowed 24 fewer sacks and jumped from 19th to seventh in the NFL in rushing in 1997 compared to 1996.

Before entering the NFL coaching ranks, Matsko spent 17 years on the college level. He worked as a graduate assistant at Miami (Ohio) from 1974-75 and returned as offensive line coach in 1977 after being the head coach at Danbury High School in Lakeside-Marblehead, Ohio, in 1976. Matsko served as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at North Carolina from 1978-84 prior to stops as offensive line coach at Navy in 1985 and Arizona in 1986. He joined Southern California as offensive line coach in 1987 and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1989 for his final three seasons with the Trojans.

PLAYING AND PERSONAL
Matsko played fullback at Kent State and lettered three years from 1970-72. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in business education in 1973 and later earned a master's degree in education from Miami (Ohio) in 1976.

HISTORY
Fullback: Kent State 1970-72. College coach: Miami (Ohio) 1974-75, 1977, North Carolina 1978-84, Navy 1985, Arizona 1986, Southern California 1987-91. Pro coach: Phoenix Cardinals 1992-93, New Orleans Saints 1994-96, New York Giants 1997-98, St. Louis Rams 1999-2005, Kansas City Chiefs 2006-07, Baltimore Ravens 2008-10, joined Panthers in 2011.