After a one-year retirement, John Mattos is again poolside for the 2013 season, assisting the water polo team. Mattos was the program's initial head coach, in 2005, and remained with the program until his retirement after the 2011 season.
The tenured head coach also oversaw the swimming & diving program for 31 years. He was the 2009 Mountain West Coach of the Year and earned national and international recognition as one of the finest swimming & diving coaches in the world during his tenure at CSU. He was named the NCAA Division I Coach of the Year in 1994 after leading CSU to a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Division I Championships, one of eight nationally ranked finishes under his guidance.
He coached 13 All-Americans, nine honorable mention All-Americans and eight Academic All-Americans, while taking 66 student-athletes to the NCAA Championships, including Olympian Amy Van Dyken.
Mattos' student-athletes also set 118 school records. His Rams also accumulated 25 individual championships.
In 1996, he had the opportunity to watch as Van Dyken became the first female swimmer in history to win four gold medals in a single Olympics. Van Dyken returned to Fort Collins to train under Mattos and he was her personal coach for the 2000 summer games, where he was poolside when she returned to the medal stand.
He was an assistant coach for the U.S. world championship team that competed in Rome in 1994, and two years later he was the head coach of the National Junior Elite Training Camp team for Olympic development. In 2004 Mattos was selected to the short course U.S. world championship coaching staff.
He amassed a career dual-meet record of 221-103 with the Rams-more wins than any other coach in program history. He guided the Rams' swimming & diving program to 24 individual conference titles, two regional titles and six conference championships.
A 2005 inductee into the CSU Athletics Hall of Fame, Mattos starred for the Rams as a student-athlete before earning his degree from the university in 1971. He was a standout performer for the Rams' swimming program in both the 100- and 200-meter backstroke, garnering conference championships and All-America finalist finishes in both events in 1969 and 1970, and establishing a school-record in the 100 backstroke (52.72 seconds) that still stands.
Mattos and his wife, Connie, have lived in Fort Collins permanently since 1975. They have a daughter, Marissa, who attends CSU.