Greg Mattison’s coaching tenure at Michigan was always going to end at some point. Most thought it would be due to retirement. Instead, The Michigan Insider has learned that the coaching veteran of almost 50 years is leaving Ann Arbor will continue his career in Columbus. After spending the last eight years in Ann Arbor, first as the defensive coordinator under Brady Hoke (2011-2014) and then as the defensive line coach under Jim Harbaugh (2015-2018), Mattison is heading to Ohio State to be the defensive coordinator. That Buckeye post came open last when one of their prior co-defensive coordinators, Alex Grinch, was hired recently by Oklahoma to coordinate the Sooners defense. Whether Mattison will be also be a co-coordinator remains to be seen, but 247Sports’ Bill Greene has confirmed that Greg Schiano has been relieved of his defensive coordinator duties and will not be returning to Ohio State.
This move marks the end of Mattison’s second stint at Michigan. He previously served as the defensive line coach under Gary Moeller from 1992-1994, then added the defensive coordinator duties when Lloyd Carr took over in 1995. He held the dual roles for two years before leaving for Notre Dame in 1997. He wound up coaching for the Fighting Irish for eight seasons, during which time he got to know then wide receivers coach Urban Meyer (1996-2000). The pair later reunited in 2005 when Meyer became the head coach at the University of Florida and hired Mattison to be the Gators defensive coordinator.
Meyer recently retired from his head coaching post with Ohio State, but is reportedly staying around Columbus in an administrative role. He is an obvious link between the Buckeyes and Mattison.
Michigan’s defensive front was already set to enter a transition phase in 2019 due to the graduation of Chase Winovich and Lawrence Marshall, the early draft entry by Rashan Gary, and the transfer of Aubrey Solomon. Now the crucial task of molding their replacements will fall to someone else. A possible internal candidate for the job is current outside linebackers and VIPERs coach Al Washington. The first-year Wolverines’ assistant previously served as the defensive line coach at his alma mater Boston College. Whether Harbaugh will consider going that route, or if Washington will even be option for it… sources say the Buckeyes are showing interest… remains to be seen. Either way, the Wolverines will be adding at least one new defensive assistant to the fold in the coming weeks.
The annual American Football Coaches Association Convention is currently in session (January 6th-9th), so there could be considerable news on the on the coaching carousel front later in the week.
Stay tuned to The Michigan Insider for more on this breaking news story in the hours and days to come.