John Burgess Matlock

August 5, 2013
John Burgess Matlock


John Burgess Matlock, age 71, of Wilmington passed away Monday August 5, 2013 at New Hanover Regional Medical Center with his family by his side.

He was born in Greensboro, NC on August 25, 1941. His parents were the late Gordon Ware Matlock and Sally Tesh Matlock.

John was a long time resident of Wilmington. He was actively involved in the Weekend Meals on Wheels program. He was a member of the Wilmington Lodge #532 B.P.O. Elks.

John was a standout football player at Norview High School in Norfolk, Virginia where they won the state championship in 1958 and he was selected as an All-State player. His excellent high school play caught the eye of Bobby Dodd and he was offered a football scholarship from Georgia Tech. There he continued his love of the sport as a center and linebacker for the Yellow Jackets from 1959-1963. Following his successful years on the gridiron, John began a career of coaching using his leadership and strategic knowledge of the game. Beginning at St. Pius High School in Atlanta and it wasn’t long before he was coaching the National Championship team from Randolph Macon in Virginia as well as coaching positions at the University of Louisville, East Carolina University and eventually becoming the defensive line coach for the University of North Carolina. Along the way, John established strong bonds of friendship with his players and teammates. Those bonds have lasted for decades and his loss will be felt deeply by those who had the joy of spending time with him on and off the field.

He is survived by the love of his life, Elizabeth (Betty) Matlock; daughter Jill Matlock Hall of Atlanta and her husband Walter M. Hall III; daughter Jan Elise Matlock of Wilmington; grandchildren Elizabeth (Libby Gray) Hall and Tyler J. Matlock; sister Sallie Tesh of Fort Pierce, Florida.

A memorial service is planned for 2 PM Thursday August 8, 2013 at Wilmington Funeral Chapel.

The family will visit with friends immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Weekend Meals on Wheels, PO Box 3593, Wilmington, NC 28406.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Sign Guest Book” tab above.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403.


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  • August 08, 2013
    Raymond Vann says:
    I knew and liked John at Norview. God be with him and his family.

  • August 15, 2013
    Rodney Bond says:
    My condolences to the family. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

  • August 12, 2013
    Jimmy Asip says:
    Coach Matlock was one of my true mentors. Our team at St Pius in the fall of 1965 did special things truly because of him. His ability to relate to players and motivate them was a gift. He also coached me in track and got me on the freshman team at Ga Tech by speaking to Coach Dodd on my behalf. I got to see him maybe ten years ago at the dedication of St Pius X field to Coach Maoof. It brought joy just to catch up with him. Please know how much he was loved.

  • August 08, 2013
    jimmy ackermann says:
    Coach Matlock was my coach at St. Pius X High School as well as one of my teachers. I was fortunate to have known him. Coach was a great instructor and motivator. My thought and prayers are with his family.

  • August 12, 2013
    Faye Chapman says:
    A lot of happy memories of the 4 of us, John and Betty, Joe and myself. That is what I will remember of John. So sorry for his passing. I know he will be missed.