Doug, son of a newspaper publisher, was born and raised in Picher, Oklahoma. Mathews was a three–sport star in high school, before signing a scholarship to play football at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. in Miami, Oklahoma. While at NEO, Mathews earned a selection on the All–American team as well being named the National Junior College Player of the Year in 1967. In addition, Mathews was a member on the Golden Norseman’s 1967 National Championship team
After graduating from NEO, Mathews signed a scholarship to play football at Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt he lead the Southeastern Conference in rushing during his senior year in 1969, earning a degree in History.
After his playing career ended at Vanderbilt, Mathews embarked on a collegiate coaching career. His stops across the country included:
- Northeast Louisiana (Defense Backs) 1972
- Weber State University (Defense Backs / Defense Coordinator) 1973–1975
- University of Louisville (Defense Backs) 1976–1978
- Virginia Tech University (Running Backs) 1979
- University of Tennessee (Running Backs / Defense Coordinator) 1980–1989
- Vanderbilt University (Defense Coordinator) 1990
In 1991, Mathews retired from coaching to spend more time with his family. That same year Mathews and his wife, Pat, founded Doug Mathews Team Sports in Nashville. They ran the successful business venture for 21 years before their two sons, Tate and Nick, began operating Mathews Team Sports, in Franklin in 2012.
For the past 22 years, Mathews has been a fixture on the Nashville sports radio scene hosting the highly rated Big Orange Sunday and Football Sports Saturday shows. For the past 11 years, Mathews’ radio home has been the top–rated sports talk station in Nashville, 104.5 The Zone. Both shows also air on 1180 AM in Knoxville. Big Orange Sunday is a one–hour show heard every Sunday bringing the best analysis of University of Tennessee athletics. Football Saturday focuses on NCAA football with an emphasis on the Southeastern Conference each weekend for two hours. National media personalities, Tony Barnhart and Charles Davis, serve as weekly contributors on this fast–paced, highly rated program.
In his spare time, Mathews plays golf and also does numerous speaking engagements for local charities. Mathews and his wife of 44 years Pat reside in Brentwood. The couple has five grandchildren: Jarrett (12), Jackson (8), Jenna (6), Kate (4), Emma (18 months).