Troy Mathieu Is The Right Man For The Grambling State AD Job

By Joe Booker
Updated: May 24, 2006

HOUSTON — Troy Mathieu, the 42-year old athletic director for the Dallas Independent School District will become the new athletic director at Grambling State.

He’s the right man for the job at a school that needs a young and energetic person to run a program that has seen some difficult times since the legendary Eddie Robinson retired almost a decade ago.

The hiring of Troy Mathieu ended a seven month search after Willie Jeffries resigned after only one year on the job. Before moving to Dallas, he was executive director of the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, a job he had took in 1993 at age 29 and held as the only black person in high-level bowl management.

As executive director of the Sugar Bowl he negotiated a $30 million deal with Nokia. Troy discussed the pros and cons of taking the job with me two weeks ago.

“I have done as much as I can do here (DISD). I have a daughter in the tenth grade at one of the Magnet Schools and I hate to take her away from her friends,” Mathieu told me in our conversation two weeks ago.

“I owe it to my family and my career to look at good opportunities when they come along. I enjoyed my position with DISD.” He also talked with me after accepting the job.

“It represents the next step in my professional career. It is a new challenge and the opportunity to be associated with a tradition-rich university and one of the most recognized programs in the country.”

Troy was offered the job at Texas Southern several years ago and was a finalist for the SWAC Commissioner job as well. “I had to turn the TSUjob down, because I was offered a great deal more to stay with DISD,” Troy said.

“When the Grambling job was offered, I could not afford to turn down another position if I planned to elevate my career,” he said. It is rumored that Troy will receive a four-year contract.

He’s been in charge of a 19-program department with a budget of $4.7 million, which is similar to the one at Grambling State. He has overseen more than $50 million in facility improvement and construction with DISD.

He’s also negotiated multi-million sponsorships with Coca-Cola and Bally Total Fitness. “We had some success in closing the gap with some of the suburban athletic programs,” said Troy.

A native of Edgard, La. (population: 2,637), Mathieu graduated from McNeese State in three years and received his Masters from Western Illinois.

He’s expected to take over by mid-June.