Hall of Fame
CLASS OF 2023
Bruce Matthews began his football career at the University of Southern California, where he was a consensus First Team All-American his senior year and won the Morris Trophy, awarded to the best lineman in the Pacific 10 conference. He showed his value to the team by playing five positions along the offensive line.
The Matthews Family backstage at the 2023 Houston Sports Awards. (L-R) Steven, Luke, Gwen, Bruce, Marilyn, Mike, Jake and Kevin.
After his very successful college career, the Houston Oilers selected Matthews with the ninth pick in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft. Matthews wasted no time making a name for himself in his rookie year at the guard position, as he was selected to the PFWA All-Rookie team.
Watch Bruce Matthews' interview with Kevin Eschenfelderon, the "Red Carpet" at the 2023 Houston Sports Awards.
In his second season, he put his versatility on display, by playing each position on the offensive line just as he did in college. He wowed his teammates very early in his career, such as former teammate Mike Munchak who described Bruce’s first training camp with the team, “All eyes were on him, he didn’t disappoint. He came off the ball with such quickness, got into his blocks, great finish, great work ethic. He was amazing.”
Bruce Matthews backstage at the 2023 Houston Sports Awards.
He continued to play multiple positions along the offensive line until his sixth season in 1988, when he finally settled down on the interior of the offensive line, playing guard and center. Bruce thrived in these positions, making 14 pro bowls while being named to the All-Pro team numerous times.
Watch the musical tribute to Bruce Matthews at the 2023 Houston Sports Awards
Before the 1995 season, Matthews signed a four-year contract extension with the Oilers, guaranteeing he would finish his wonderful career with the team that drafted him. Following the 1996 season, the Houston Oilers moved its franchise to Tennessee. Although the team was going through changes, Matthews consistently dominated the opposition. Bruce was also known to be an outstanding teammate and person as well. Former running back and teammate Eddie George described him as “He was a quiet leader, but when he did speak up, he commanded everyone’s attention. It was a privilege to run behind him as a running back. I brag all the time that I was able to play with Bruce.”
Watch the Bruce Matthews induction speech at the 2023 Houston Sports Awards
In the 1999 season, the Oilers went through a complete rebrand and were now known as the Tennessee Titans. Apparently, the rebrand was good luck because they made it all the way to the Super Bowl for the first time in Matthew’s career, but that luck ran out as they lost to the St. Louis Rams.
The Harris County - Houston Sports Authority, with the help of Dick's Sporting Goods and the Matthews family suprised Bruce at his home announcing his induction to the Houston Sports Hall of Fame.
Even while getting older, he continued to excel and amaze his peers, “He was one of the most versatile offensive linemen ever to play the game – earning Pro Bowls at two different positions and playing well enough at a third to earn a spot. I personally owe a lot of my success to him.”, said Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon. After the 2001 season, Bruce Matthews retired as a member of the Tennessee Titans. He had an illustrious career, tying the record for most consecutive Pro Bowl appearances with 14. He was also named an All-Pro an incredible nine times. Bruce was selected as a guard on the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s. Matthews was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007, and in 2010, he was ranked as the 78th greatest player of all time by the NFL Network.
Fellow Pro Football Hall of Famer, John McClain poses with Bruce at the announcement of his selection to the Houston Sports Hall of Fame.
Bruce and his wife, Carrie unveil his plaque on the Houston Sports Walk of Fame.
Bruce poses with his plaque on the Houston Sports Walk of Fame.