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"Maty" 2002 Final Tackle

video by John Phillips

  Legend of the Game


Stephen "Maty" Matychowiak


Seattle Cavaliers, Auburn Panthers, Pierce County Bengals

Middle Linebacker
1985 - 2002

Pierce County Bengals, South Sound Shockers


One of the fiercest linebackers to dominate the Northwest gridiron as well as one of the most dedicated and competitive to ever play the semi-pro game, "Maty" played on some legendary teams.  Becoming the team leader in tackles on one of the greatest teams of all-time, so good were the Auburn Panthers they were nearly taken en masse to replace the Seattle Seahawks striking players in 1987.  Following the shut down of the Panthers program, two former Panthers were vying for the star's service.  Former owner Ed Bemis was resurrecting the Pierce County Bengals and former GM Phil Pompeo was now with the Seattle Cavaliers.  Pompeo won out, and following the 1988 jamboree, Maty took his services there for the final two seasons, while former Panther coach Ron Baines (1987) took the reigns with the Bengals.  Maty returned to the Bengals in 1990 and began another All-League caliber run through the NWFL as a player/coach that lasted until 2002. 

As a coordinator his talents and work ethic shined brightly with some of the top defenses ever seen including a 2007 defense that forced 76 turnovers in 15 games.  As a head coach he put together a 35-11 record including a 24-2 run with the South Sound Shockers record setting squads of 2006 and 2007.  He was named Coach of the Year in 2006.  Retiring completely in 2010, Matychowiak had put together an impressive resume over 24 years that few have duplicated.  A letter, written by GNFA Hall of Famer and former NFL front-office man Tony Softli (printed below), spells out what a man who knows talent saw in a young linebacker in his 20's many years ago.

Some of his playing days highlights include:
1991-2002 Player/Coach for the Pierce County Bengals
1991-93 Team leader in tackles for the Pierce County Bengals, All-NWFL selection
1988-89 Seattle Cavaliers team leader in tackles
1986 Team leader in tackles for the National Champion Auburn Panthers
1985-1987 Auburn Panthers (57-1 All Time Record)


Coaching highlights include:
2007 PNFC Champions 14-1 (Numerous Northwest records set)
2006 PNFC South Champions 10-1, Northwest Coach of the Year
2006 Named head coach of the South Sound Shockers
2005 Defensive Coordinator of the South Sound Shockers
2003 Defensive Coordinater for the Pierce County Bengals, allowing 10.7 points per game
1999 Defensive Coordinater for the Pierce County Bengals, allowing 12.8 points per game
Coached numerous League MVP, All-Confernce and All-American Selections

Significant awards include:

2016 American Football Association Hall of Fame

2006 Northwest Coach of the Year
1991-93 NWFL All League for the Pierce County Bengals
1986 2nd team All League for the National Champion Auburn Panthers


Before the Semi Pros:
1983 Team leader in tackles at MLB for the Olympic College Rangers

1982 Defensive All Black Hills League (MLB)

4 year starter at Capital High School


Stephen "Maty" Matychowiak


written by Tony Softli, former Director of Player Personnel for the St. Louis Rams:

A middle linebacker that haunted the Northwest Minor Professional Football Leagues for several years. I had the opportunity to coach this young man when I held the titles of Defensive coordinator '88 and Head Coach '89 for the Seattle Cavaliers. He went by the nickname of "Maty", but I called him "Hammer".  He loved the game, he practiced like he played it, hard and intense!
He had ideal size for the position with quickness, despite having excellent speed he played the game at a high level. Hammer was very smart, instinctive, focused, aggressive and a tough linebacker with a nasty attitude. He was relentless in his play and excelled between the tackles, with second effort to chase and pursue the ball carrier from sideline to sideline. During my Short tenure as a Coach in the Minor Professional ranks, Hammer was the most productive linebacker I coached. Not only did he earn my respect as a person and a player, he earned it from the opposing Offensive Coordinators in the American Football Association (AFA). We played a National (AFA) schedule; we traveled as far east as Racine Wisconsin, as far south as Orange County California and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. After each game I would speak with the opposing coaches and the first thing they would say "Tony, tough defense with great athletes, who is your middle backer?"  My reply; 'Hammer Matychowiak'. In my tenth season as Director of College Scouting for the Carolina Panthers, I've had the opportunity to compare a lot of players I played with and Coached at that level (Seattle Cavaliers, Eastside Express, Bellevue Express) and I can honestly say, when in their prime there is a hand full of those players I feel could have played in the National Football League (NFL) and Steve "Hammer" Matychowiak is one of those five players.
Anthony R. Softli
Director of College Scouting
(NFS Executive Committee Member)
(NFL College Advisory Committee Member)