Archie Mathis guided the W&L wrestling program to its greatest success as head coach from 1925 to 1942 and remains one of the University's all-time greatest coaches in any sport.
Mathis helped to establish wrestling as a major sport at W&L, taking over the program in 1925-26, just the fifth year the sport was offered. He served notice of his coaching ability by leading the Generals to a perfect 4-0 mark in that first season and went on to bigger things.
In Mathis' 17 seasons as head coach the Generals overwhelmed the opposition putting together a record of 80-21-3, including nine undefeated seasons. W&L was particularly dominant from 1929-30 through 1935-36. In those six seasons W&L went 38-2-1 and captured Southern Conference championships in 1932, 1933, 1934 and 1936. During one stretch W&L put together a still standing school-record 22-match winning streak. Navy was the only team to defeat the Generals during those six seasons.
W&L's place in the wrestling world was evidenced when the school was selected to host the 1936 NCAA Championships. W&L Hall of Famer Hugo Bonino finished as the runner-up at heavyweight during those championships and qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials.
Mathis and six of his former wrestlers gave their lives while serving the country in World War II. His final team at W&L, the 1941-42 squad, finished a fittingly perfect 6-0. The wrestling room inside the Warner Center is named in his honor.