Willie Taggart Adds Two Top recruiters To USF Staff
TAMPA – The University of South Florida has added David Reaves and Eric Mathies to its football staff, head coach Willie Taggart announced on Thursday. Reaves will serve as wide receivers coach and Mathies will handle the defensive line. Together, the pair brings 24 years of coaching experience to USF, including a combined six years of service as recruiting coordinators.
“David and Eric bring a great combination of on-the-field coaching experience and recruiting prowess,” said Taggart. “I love the energy that they bring and they’ll be great compliments to the other staff members. Both have been heavily involved in recruiting, especially here in Florida, and I believe that will be a huge asset as we build this program.”
Reaves brings 10 years of collegiate experience to USF, having served as a coordinator, position coach and recruiting coordinator with stops at South Carolina, Tennessee and New Mexico. During his time, Reaves has developed a reputation as one of the top recruiters in Florida and the southeast, including the signing of two Hillsborough County Players of the Year.
In 2012, Reaves served as an instructor at the premiere training facility at IMG Academy working with top-flight athletes at the professional, collegiate and prep levels.
Reaves spent two seasons (2010-11) at New Mexico coaching quarterbacks and serving as passing game coordinator. During his second season, he earned the offensive coordinator title. He also coordinated UNM’s summer camps.
Prior to his time at New Mexico, Reaves spent the 2009 season at the University of Tennessee coaching quarterbacks. While in Knoxville, Reaves led a passing game that accounted for 2,942 yards and 28 touchdowns, while mentoring Jonathan Crompton, who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers.
Reaves went to Tennessee after spending most of the decade at South Carolina, where he served under head coaching legends Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier. Reaves coached the Gamecocks for seven seasons, including the first two as a graduate assistant. After one year as defensive backs coach under Holtz and two seasons assisting Spurrier with the quarterbacks, Reaves was handed the full-time quarterback coaching duties in the spring of 2007.
In addition, Reaves became recruiting coordinator in 2006. He quickly earned a reputation as one of the nation’s top young recruiters. The 2007 Gamecocks’ signing class was regarded as one of the most highly-touted recruiting hauls in school history, and formed a consensus top-10 ranking nationally. Following the February signing day, Reaves was selected as one of the top 25 recruiters in the country by Rivals.com.
Prior to joining the South Carolina staff, Reaves served as an assistant head coach at Tampa Catholic High School for one season.
A native of Tampa, Fla., Reaves was a standout quarterback at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, S.C., graduating in 1997. He went on to become team captain and a three-year starter at quarterback for Appalachian State University, where he helped lead the Mountaineers to three straight national playoff berths. His father, John, was an All-America quarterback at the University of Florida and later played in the NFL.
Mathies brings 14 years of collegiate coaching experience to USF, having served as an assistant coach at Western Kentucky, Tennessee St. and Midwestern (Texas) St.
Prior to coming to USF, Mathies coached the defensive line for eight seasons at WKU and served as recruiting coordinator for three seasons. He joined the WKU staff in 2005, and when Willie Taggart took over the Hilltoppers in 2010, Mathies added the title of recruiting coordinator.
As recruiting coordinator, Mathies helped produce the top recruiting class in the Sun Belt Conference in both 2010 and 2011, and the league’s second-ranked class in 2012, according to Rivals.com. Rivals also recognized Mathies as one of the top recruiters in the nation following the 2010 season.
While coaching the defensive line, Mathies mentored Quanterus Smith, who earned All-America honors from both SI.com and Phil Steele after the 2012 season. Smith was named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year after totaling 12.5 sacks, which ranked third nationally. As a whole, the WKU defense led the conference in sacks, TFL, total defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense in 2012.
Mathies coached at two schools on the collegiate level over six seasons prior to joining the WKU staff. For two seasons, he coached at Tennessee St., where he worked with defensive tackles in addition to handling recruiting responsibilities. Prior to working at TSU, he was the defensive line coach at Midwestern (Texas) State, where he was also the strength and conditioning coach, in addition to handling recruiting duties.
He got his start in coaching at Murray High School in 1998, helping the Tigers to a 7-4 mark as they advanced to the second round of the Kentucky state playoffs. Mathies also served an internship with the Dallas Cowboys in 2007.
Mathies, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Murray State in 1998, was a four-year letterwinner in football, beginning his career at Kansas, before transferring to Murray State. A defensive lineman, he helped the Racers to a pair of Ohio Valley Conference championships as MSU qualified for the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs in both 1995 and ’96.
David Reaves’ Coaching Experience
2001: Tampa Catholic HS (Assistant Head Coach)
2002-03: South Carolina (Graduate Assistant)
2004: South Carolina (Defensive Backs)
2005: South Carolina (Asst. Quarterbacks)
2006: South Carolina (Asst. Quarterbacks/Recruiting Coordinator)
2007-08: South Carolina (Quarterbacks/Recruiting Coordinator)
2009: Tennessee (Quarterbacks)
2010: New Mexico (Quarterbacks/Passing Game Coordinator)
2011: New Mexico (Offensive Coord./QBs/Passing Game Coord.)
2012: IMG Academy (Instructor)
Eric Mathies’ Coaching Experience
1998: Murray (Ky.) High School (Assistant Coach)
1999-2002: Midwestern (Texas) State (Assistant Coach)
2003-04: Tennessee State (Assistant Coach)
2005-09: WKU (Defensive Line)
2007: Dallas Cowboys (NFL Fellowship Program Intern)
2010-12: WKU (Defensive Line / Recruiting Coordinator)