Gamecocks retire soccer great Clint Mathis’ jersey
COLUMBIA, S.C. —-The University of South Carolina Athletics Department retired the jersey of former men’s soccer standout Clint Mathis on Friday night.
Mathis (1994-97) had his jersey retired in a ceremony during the Gamecocks’ Nov. 1 conference match against Florida International at Stone Stadium.
“Clint Mathis had a great career at Carolina and deserves to be recognized by having his jersey retired,” Tanner said. “He later represented the Garnet and Black well during his professional and national team play. When athletes, coaches and fans come to our stadiums, we want them to recognize who set the stage for our success over the years. We want to honor and recognize our history here and Clint is a big part of that.”
A two-time All-American, including a consensus first-team All-America selection in 1995, Mathis finished his career as the third all-time leading scorer in Carolina history with 121 points (53 goals, 15 assists). He is still third in program history in career goals, career game-winning goals and career goals per match.
Alongside his career records, he owns the school record for most points, goals and game-winning goals in a season.
Mathis later went on to be drafted sixth overall by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 1998 Major League Soccer College Draft. He earned his first career appearance for the United States national team on Nov. 6, 1998, against Australia and represented his country in the 2002 World Cup. To date, he is the only player in program history to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
“It’s a real pleasure to recognize Clint Mathis with the retirement of his jersey,” South Carolina men’s soccer head coach Mark Berson said. “Players like Clint only come along once in a coach’s career. He accomplished a lot as a player at South Carolina, as a professional, as a United States national team player and as a United States World Cup player. The goal he scored in the World Cup in Japan was one of the most exceptional pieces of soccer skill you’ll see anywhere. He was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, he was featured at the ESPYs and represented the very top of our game in the United States during his career.”
JERSEY RETIREMENT PROCESS
By policy, there is a five-year waiting period after a former Gamecock student-athlete’s last final season of participation before their jersey can be considered for retirement. As part of the policy, the University will retire jerseys, but will not retire numbers. Those numbers previously retired will continue to be in a retired state. There is a limit of six jersey retirements per academic year, with no more than one per sport per year.
In order for a former student-athlete to be considered to have their jersey retired at Carolina, the recipient must have been either a University record holder, consensus All-American, consensus National Player of the Year, an Olympic medalist while a student-athlete at USC, an All-SEC first- or second-team member for three years, conference player of the year, team MVP of a national championship team, or a post-season MVP leading to a national championship.
A committee of current Gamecock coaches and staff members, as well as representatives from the Intercollegiate Activities Committee of the Board of Trustees, USC Lettermen’s Association and a past retired jersey retirement recipient selected this year’s slate of retired jerseys.