Greg Mattison

Greg Mattison chose Michigan over NFL

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Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison says he could have coached a number of places in 2015 if he wanted, but he chose to stay with the University of Michigan to be a part of the staff working with Jim Harbaugh. After returning to Michigan to be a defensive coordinator for Brady Hoke, Mattison decided to stay put even if it meant taking on a lower profile position on Michigan’s staff.

“I had a number of offers (elsewhere), some in the NFL and things like that,” Mattison said Thursday, per MLive.com. “But I made up my mind that if I had the opportunity, I’d love to stay. And I did. So, I stayed.”

Mattison has spent decades coaching in college and in the NFL, and he has been a well-respected coaching assistant over the years. His decision to come to Michigan to coach for Hoke was a big move, and his decision to remain a part of the staff under Harbaugh was a nice result for the new head coach.

Mattison’s decision to return to Michigan under Hoke was influenced by an opportunity to be closer to his family. That ability to remain nearby was also a part of the decision to stay at Michigan as a defensive line coach.

Michigan’s defenses was ranked third in total defense in the Big Ten last season, trailing only Penn State and Wisconsin. The Wolverines allowed the second fewest yards per play among Big Ten teams and trimmed approximately four points off its defensive scoring average in 2014 from its 2013 total.

Nebraska recruit says Michigan’s Greg Mattison “tried to call me stupid to my face”

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Nebraska defensive end Daishon Neal is committed to join the Nebraska Cornhuskers when National Signing Day comes next week. The Omaha native gave the Cornhuskers his verbal commitment last April and has stayed true to that even while evaluating other options following a coaching change in Lincoln. Michigan, with Jim Harbaugh and a newly assembled staff, have been one of those options until a recent recruiting pitch from the Wolverines turned sour for Neal.

Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison, who opted to stay on board as a Michigan assistant coach under a reduced and more focused role on the staff, made a visit to Neal and his family on Monday night. The hope was being able to sell Neal and his family on flipping to Michigan as the Wolverines try to give the Class of 2015 in Ann Arbor a late boost. The effort did not go so well for Mattison, who may have crossed a line with regards to academics.

According to a quote from Neal’s father, Abraham Hoskins Jr., on a local radio station in Omaha (1620 The Zone), Mattison said Neal would not be able to get into Michigan if not for football. Per a transcription from MLive.com;

“Michigan was a powerhouse, they came in and they stormed us, they made one bad statement and it was over,” Hoskins told 1620 on air. “They said without football, Daishon wouldn’t be able to go to Michigan. Like we couldn’t afford to send him there, or that we couldn’t get him in academically.

“Once he said that, we pretty much escorted him out of the house.”

Neal added his own summary of the interaction, telling the station “(They) basically tried to call me stupid in front of my face.”

Neal is a three-star recruit according to Rivals. He is also considered the top prospect in the state of Nebraska and he confirmed his commitment to the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

As expected, Greg Mattison staying on Michigan coaching staff

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On Monday the Michigan Wolverines formally announced Greg Mattison will remain on the Michigan coaching staff under new head coach Jim Harbaugh.

It was reported last week, first by Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated, Mattison had agreed to stay on the coaching staff, but it was unknown exactly which role he would be taking on the new staff. Not surprisingly, Harbaugh will ask Mattison to coach the defensive line at Michigan, which is a job he has carried multiple times during his coaching career.

Michigan hired D.J. Durkin from Florida to be the defensive coordinator for Harbaugh’s staff, which meant Mattison was destined for a scaled back role on the staff, although his impact with the defensive line should not be glossed over. Michigan spiked its total tackles for a loss in 2014 compared to the previous season (70. TFL in 2013 to 82.0 in 2014) and picked up a few more sacks in 2014 compared to its 2013 total as well. Mattison’s willingness to accept a perceived lesser role is a show of commitment to the program that Harbaugh and his staff can sell to recruits, as well as a nod to the idea Mattison may best be utilized focusing on one area of the defense while allowing someone else to oversee the entire defensive unit.

It looks like a good situation for Michigan, Harbaugh, Durkin and Mattison all around.

Report: Greg Mattison staying on Michigan staff

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Putting together a new coaching staff may have had some stumbles for Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, but Michigan will retain Greg Mattison on the new staff. Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated reports (via Twitter) Mattison has decided to stay on board in Ann Arbor and will coach the defense under the new defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin.

Mattison rejoined the Michigan coaching staff in 2011 after three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Mattison previously served as the defensive coordinator for the Wolverines in 1995 and 1996 before moving to Notre Dame eight seasons. Whether or not he would return amid coaching staff changes at Michigan was uncertain, but his acceptance of a reduced role on the staff could be a testament to the message being sent by Harbaugh in his first days in charge of the program.

Mattison has a history of coaching defensive line, so it should be expected Mattison will take charge of Michigan’s defensive line under Durkin.

Mattison was a key addition to the coaching staff with Brady Hoke as head coach. Last season may not have been a great one for the Wolverines, but Mattison’s defense played well for much of the season. Michigan had the Big Ten’s third best total defense, trailing only Penn State and Wisconsin.

Mattison returning to the staff also provides a bit of stability on the staff and in recruiting efforts, which is rarely a bad move.

Broyles Award nominees include Kiffin, Venables, 38 others

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With the next round fo the coaching carousel about to get underway at full speed, some programs may want to pay attention to the list of names nominated for the Broyles Award. The Broyles Award is presented annually to the top assistant coach in college football, and the list of 40 nominees for this year’s award includes some names with previous head coaching experience and others about to be in line for a head coaching gig somewhere around the country.

Current head coaches who previously won the Broyles Award include Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, UConn’s Bob Diaco and Duke’s David Cutcliffe. Last year’s Broyles Award winner was Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, who many feel could be ready for a head coaching offer in the next round of the coaching carousel.  This year Narduzzi is not a finalist for the award, but Spartans co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner is.

“This will be one of the most challenging years ever for our selection committee to choose the top 5 finalists and winner, so many assistant coaches did outstanding work this year,” David Bazzel, Broyles Award executive director.

This year’s Broyles Award winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 9 by The Rotary Club of Little Rock and sponsor Delta Dental. The award is named after former Arkansas head coach Frank Broyles, who had a solid track record of pumping out quality assistant coaches. Some of the assistants who coaches under Broyles include Barry Switzer, Jimmy Johnson, Hayden Fry, Joe Gibbs, and Jackie Sherrill.

Broyles Award Nominees

Alabama – Lane Kiffin, Offensive Coordinator
Appalachian State – Dwayne Ledford, Co-Offensive Coordinator
Arizona – Jeff Casteel, Defensive Coordinator
Arkansas – Robb Smith, Defensive Coordinator
Arkansas State University – Walt Bell, Offensive Coordinator
Boise State University – Mike Sanford, Offensive Coordinator
Boston College – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator
Brigham Young University – Nick Howell, Defensive coordinator
Clemson – Brent Venables, Defensive Coordinator
Colorado State – Dave Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
Duke University – John Latina, Run Game Coordinator/OL
East Carolina University – Lincoln Riley, Offensive Coordinator
FIU – Josh Conklin, Defensive Coordinator
Georgia Southern University – Doug Ruse, Offensive Coordinator
Louisiana – Marquase Lovings, Running Backs
Louisiana Tech – Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator
Louisville – Todd Grantham, Defensive Coordinator
Memphis – James Shibest, Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends
Miami – Mark D’Onofrio, Defensive Coordinator
Michigan – Greg Mattison, Defensive Coordinator
Michigan State University – Dave Warner, Co-Offensive Coordinator
Minnesota – Tracy Claeys, Defensive Coordinator
Mississippi State – Geoff Collins, Defensive Coordinator
Missouri – Dave Steckel, Defensive Coordinator
NC State – Desmond Kitchings, Running Backs/Recruiting Coordinator
Ohio State University – Tom Herman, Offensive Coordinator
Ole Miss – Dave Wommack, Defensive Coordinator
Oregon – Scott Frost, Offensive Coordinator
Penn State University – Bob Shoop, Defensive Coordinator
Stanford – Lance Anderson, Defensive Coordinator
TCU – Doug Meacham, Co-Offensive Coordinator
Temple – Phil Snow, Defensive Coordinator
UCF – Brent Key, Offensive Line Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
UCLA – Noel Mazzone, Offensive Coordinator
Utah – Kalani Sitake, Defensive Coordinator
Utah State University – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator
UTSA – Neal Neathery, Defensive Coordinator
West Virginia University – Tony Gibson, Defensive Coordinator
Western Michigan University – Kirk Ciarrocca, Offensive Coordinator
Wisconsin – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator