|Born||February 22, 1899|
Fort Worth, Texas
|Died||June 30, 1983 (aged 84)|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
1 National (1935)
3 SWC (1935, 1947–1948)
|College Football Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 1955 (profile)
William Madison "Matty" Bell (February 22, 1899 – June 30, 1983) was an American football player, coach of football and basketball, and college athletics administrator. He played for Centre, captain of its 1918 team. He served as the head football coach at the Haskell Institute (1920–1921), Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin (1922), Texas Christian University (1923–1928), Texas A&M University (1929–1933), and Southern Methodist University (1935–1941, 1945–1949), compiling a career college football record of 147–88–17. His 1935 SMU Mustangs, which have been recognized as a national champion, went 12–0 in the regular season before losing to Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Bell was also the head basketball coach at Texas Christian for six seasons from 1923 to 1929, tallying a mark of 71–41. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1955. After retiring from coaching following the 1949 season, Bell served as the athletic director at Southern Methodist until 1964. He died in 1983 in Dallas, Texas.
During World War II, Bell took a leave of absence from coaching to serve in the aviation branch of the United States Naval Reserve from 1942 to 1945. On June 12, 1942, he was sworn in as a lieutenant commander, and reported to Annapolis. Subsequently, he became the athletic director at the Navy Pre-Flight School on the campus of the University of Georgia and rose to the rank of commander. After the war, he returned to SMU as head coach.
Head coaching record
|Haskell Indians (Independent) (1920–1921)|
|Carroll Pioneers (Independent) (1922)|
|TCU Horned Frogs (Southwest Conference) (1923–1928)|
|Texas A&M Aggies (Southwest Conference) (1929–1933)|
|SMU Mustangs (Southwest Conference) (1935–1941)|
|SMU Mustangs (Southwest Conference) (1945–1949)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
- Carroll University Athletics Archived August 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Season-by-season football results
- Billford, Andrew. "Bell, William Madison 'Matty'", Handbook of Texas Online, published by the Texas State Historical Association, uploaded on June 12, 2010, modified on September 28, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- June 13, 1942 press photo description.
- Oakland Tribune. "Matty Bell to Leave S.M.U. for Navy Work", June 12, 1942, page D 29.
- Fullerton Jr., Hugh. "Sports Round Up", The Evening Capital, Annapolis, Maryland, July 26, 1945, page 7.