The newest edition of the Front Page brings a few words of recollection and wisdom from arguably the greatest putter ever, Hall-of-Famer Randy Matson. Randy was the 1964 Olympic runner-up and 1968 gold medalist. He just missed the 1972 Olympic team when he finished fourth at the Trials. He attended Texas A&M where he also played basketball. (6'7")
L&S: What are you doing currently?
RM: I am the Executive Director of the Alumni Association of Texas A&M University.
L&S: What would you consider the highlight of your throwing career?
RM: That would probably be my first 70 foot throw, although first 60 footer also was very important.
L&S: You were selected in both the NBA and NFL drafts. Did you pursue either?
RM: No, but I considered football for awhile.
L&S: Of the three (including throwing), which was your favorite sport?
RM: Throwing the shot by far.
L&S: Considering the relative obscurity of the throwing events, why didn't you?
RM: I didn't care about the obscurity, but in those days track and field was followed by more people.
L&S: What do you think are the major differences in the throwing world now as opposed to the 60's?
RM: I think the main difference would be the spinners, but also more throwers today have greater opportunities to throw full-time. This was not an option for most in the 60's.
L&S: You were a glider in the shot. Did you ever think of moving to the spin?
RM: Not really. I didn't think the spin would work for most throwers.
L&S: What were the key elements of your shot technique?
RM: My quickness and leg lift.
L&S: What were the key elements of your discus technique?
RM: My long arms. I was never very consistent. Sometimes I wish that I would have taken a year or two and concentrated on disc. I always trained on the disc when I was finished with shot. I never let it interfere with shot
L&S: Of the current crop of throwers, who do you find the most promising?
RM: I don't follow it. I kept up with (Randy) Barnes and (Mike) Stulce because they went to A&M.
L&S: I've seen your competitive weight listed at 245. Is that an accurate figure?
RM: My ideal weight was 265- always had trouble keeping my weight up. That's no problem now!
L&S: Strength wise, what types of lifts did you focus on and can you tell us how much weight you used?
RM: It was mostly power lifting in those days. I benched 445, squatted 510, not much compared to today.
L&S: How much of a factor was steroid abuse during that era?
RM: Steriods were just being introduced. I really didn't know anything about them until '67 or '68. I understand early steriods were relative mild compared to today. I'm glad I came along when I did. It was probably the end of the golden years of track and field, even though athletes can make a considerable amount of money today.
L&S: Are you still active in the throwing community?
RM: No, my shoulders hurt just when I pick up my briefcase these days.
L&S: Which of your competitors did you respect the most, and why?
RM: Dallas Long because he was a real champion who won with dignity and class. Also Dave Maggard, who got more out of his body than anyone I knew.
L&S: What advice would you give to prep throwers who have college plans?
RM: I would go to a place that has had good throwers over the years. Also plan on a life after throwing which for most won't last very long. There's no better way to go to college than training on your own and usually having no coach yelling at you.
L&S: Anything else that you would like to add?
RM: I really enjoyed competing, but was not much of a fan. I enjoyed working out by myself and trained about 11.5 months a year when in college. I didn't enjoy the media attention and that was part of it. I probably let pressure or expectation of throwing 70 feet every time out hurt or shorten my career, but I have few regrets.
Much thanks to Randy for gracing of our page with his Hall-of-Fame presence!