Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Matty "Moanin' Matty" Bell

Matty "Moanin' Matty" Bell


  • Position: Coach
  • School: Haskell, Carroll(WI), Texas Christian, Texas A&M, Southern Methodist
  • High School: 1920-1949
  • Years: 1920-1949
  • Inducted: 1955
  • Place of Birth: Fort Worth, TX
  • Date of Birth: Feb 22, 1899
  • Place of Death: Dallas, TX
  • Date of Death: Jun 30, 1983

Member Biography

They called him "Moanin' Matty", because coach Madison Bell was the master of pessimistic predictions, usually used to serve his own best interests. When Bell pulled out the crying towel, opposing coaches became wary. There was good reason. Bell instilled in his players the same cold and calculated approach which dominated his own personal preparations before a game. "When I was coaching at Texas A&M we played Tulane's 1931 Rose Bowl team, and I never forgot the ice-water poise they had in the unexcited way they went about their business", he once recalled. "I told myself that if I ever had a great team I'd try to keep them in the same frame of mind." Bell had that great team in 1935 at Southern Methodist. His Mustangs swept through the 12-game regular season on the way to a co-National Championship, before losing to Stanford, 7-0, in the Rose Bowl. His SMU superstars included, in 1948, Doak Walker and Kyle Rote. Before his years at SMU, Bell coached at Haskell Institute, Carroll College, Texas Christian and Texas A&M. The 1935 SMU squad was the first team from west of the Mississippi (aside from the Pacific Coast Conference teams) to be invited to the Rose Bowl, and that fact helped to put Southwest Conference football on the map. Bell finished his career with 153 victories.