Reports: Ohio State Hires Michigan’s Greg Mattison As Defensive Coordinator

Ohio State Buckeyes Football Coach Greg Mattison

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

According to multiple reports, former Michigan Defensive Line coach Greg Mattison will switch sidelines for The Game this year, after accepting a role as the Defensive Coordinator at Ohio State.

Mattison spent four years working as a Defensive Coordinator under Brady Hoke at Michigan from 2011-2014, and then switched to Defensive Line coach for the last four seasons under Jim Harbaugh.

He previously served as a Defensive Coordinator for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, and was a co-Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Line coach under Urban Meyer at Florida from 2005-2007.

He will help the Buckeyes replace Defensive Coordinator Greg Schiano who will not return to the staff, and co-Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch who accepted a job at Oklahoma.

Mattison is a somewhat unusual fit among the announced hires on new OSU head coach Ryan Day’s staff.

Day is 39 years old, Passing Game Coordinator Mike Yurcich is 43, and Wide Receivers coach Brian Hartline is 32.

Mattison will turn 70 in November.

His defensive lines have been a strength for Michigan over his time in Ann Arbor, featuring players like Rashan Gary, Chase Winovich, Taco Charlton, and Maurice Hurst.

Adding Mattison accomplishes two things for Day. First, it gives him a veteran assistant with a proven track record of developing high-level talent in the conference. Second, it also takes all of that away from his biggest rival.

Mattison is just the first piece of the puzzle on that side of the ball for Day. The second defensive coordinator and/or Safeties coach spot is still open. Plus, Linebackers coach Bill Davis and Cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson have also not been officially announced as returning members of the staff.

Buckeye fans may welcome wholesale changes on the defensive coaching staff in 2019, following a disappointing season from that side of the ball.

The OSU defense allowed more than 25 points per game in 2018, an increase of more than 10 points every week from the 2016 unit.

It also finished the year 118th in the nation in explosive plays allowed, as measured by the S&P+ analytics system.

13 Responses

  1. Mattison was at the end of his contract with TSUN. He had been told by Harbaugh and Brown that the contract was not going to be renewed. Mattison despite his age is an elite recruiter and talent developer. Experience is still a valuable commodity in this business and not every recruiter has to be 39 to connect with elite talent. Parents and elite players are looking at the future big picture. Some of you haters should do the same. Same haters wanted Joey over Dwayne. Multiple OSU and Big Ten passing records later – nice call. Give Day some credit and trust. Add Washington or Freeman and this is genius.

  2. Not real happy with some Michigan puke, he has to put up or STFU in the first 6 months.

  3. Let’s be real here. This has got to be one of the worst hires for OSU in the last 15 years. Why hire a coach from your rival program that has beat you only once in the last 15 years? He’s close to 70 yrs old, young men from the ages of 18 – 22 generally have a hard time relating to coaches that old. Also, how many good years does he have left? If a coach has been around this long and is not a head coach then that should tell you something. I will bet he lasts only two seasons on the staff.

  4. Why is Mattison leaving ttun? Is Hairball gone? Same question for Al Washington? Something is very fishy here! Or are these guys just fed up with Hairball?
    Anyway, sure hope they know what they are doing especially with the great talent coming in for this coming year and thereafter!

  5. One old fart is not enough. We needed two. Meyer, I mean Day will have to do diaper report along with injury reports every week. I knew Meyer will stick his nose into this process and ruin the day for Day’s career and Ohio State’s chances for another NC. In his 7 years here, Meyer had multiple bad hires on the defensive side that kept him from more NC.

  6. The way Mattison’s defenses were exposed in the last two games of this year makes this a very strange hire. I mean you hire a guy to be your defensive coordinator that you hung 62 pts on. I don’t get it.

    That said, anything beats Schiano. The fact he believes linebackers should play on the line of scrimmage says he is not competent. Moreover, to not substitute Werner and Borland out was downright criminal at times.

    1. Wasn’t Don Brown the one who has been running MI defense and was responsible for the man to man defense in The Game where his group gave up 62 points?

  7. Does this fit into the category of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”? Mattison joining the Buckeyes from UM, and speculation that Al Washington of UM also is coming, makes me think this must be the case.
    I can imagine how they will be introduced: “Both have last been seen working for ‘ichigan (or the Team Up North, or the team that shall remain nameless).”
    Maybe they just enjoyed watching the OSU band so much, they wanted to be able to do it every Saturday!

  8. Great we are hiring another friend of Urban’s.

  9. The guy is 70! The more I think of about it the more of a head-scratcher it becomes.

  10. This is a weird hire that doesn’t really excite me.

    His age isn’t a problem as long as he can recruit with the veracity that is required.

    However, UM is a sinking ship. . .sure. . .we all see it, but much of that is because Ohio State exposed HIS team’s defense.

    At both Notre Dame and Michigan(2nd time at UM), he was hired as the DC only to be demoted to a position coach. That’s eye-brow raising. It’s as if everyone looks at his age, values his experience, gives him a coordinator job, only to regret it later. Will Ohio State?

  11. Welcomed cjange but not this crap. Really baf choice. Really bad. Very disappointing…might as leave schiano.

    1. You guys are way off base.

      Mattison has always been a great D coach, and was a Hoke hire who “Hairball” demoted to hire Brown from BC. I hate scuM but, in truth, we all know their D line was beat to hell when they played us.

      Sciano has been called a “Jekyll/Hyde,” with players walking a tightrope between his moods, so it’ll be a pleasure to watch the D play loose & aggressive under Mattison.

      Plus which of you guys wants to call Larry Johnson an “old fart”? Maybe 2-3 years separate he & Mattison in age.

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