Doesn’t the Mattison Move Reek of Desperation?

Submitted by Suavdaddy on January 8th, 2019 at 10:05 AM

I am stunned by the news and am shocked at Mattison. That being said, OSU’s best coaching hire for DC was to hire Michigan’s 70 year old position coach?

To me, this announces they feel in a position of weakness (for whatever reason) and will do whatever it takes to take the spotlight off themselves/insecurities. 

The right response here is for Harbaugh to go on TV and laugh at their desperation - change the script. It’s their feeling of inferiority that caused this move. Take Hand. 



January 8th, 2019 at 10:08 AM ^

I admit it seems like an odd move for OSU to hire a guy who was rumored to be mulling retirement.  They may only get a few more years out of GMatt.  To me, this move felt personal.  It was more about depriving Michigan of one of their better coaches, and rubbing our noses in it.  


January 8th, 2019 at 10:36 AM ^

There is some desperation in this in my mind.  Day must like the guy from San Fran, but his resume clearly doesn't merit a DC job.  So they must paper over that by hiring some credibility, a la Mattison. 

If you're a recruit, do you want to play for Don Brown or for the guy who's being babysat by a guy who used to work for Don Brown? 

If you're a fan of either program, same question for you'd want as your DC. 

M-B Devil Dog

January 8th, 2019 at 12:06 PM ^

This is definitely a move that is going to benefit OSU. I was like the board thinking this was bad but after the Hafley hire I've seen no less than 5 pro's who have played for Hafley (not OSU grads) say they'd run thru a wall for this man or take a bullet. After seeing that I realized this is like Day coming in and learning under Meyer. Mattison is a phenomenal coach and one who can teach well. Mattison along with Larry Johnson...this is a kick to our nuts. 


January 9th, 2019 at 11:13 AM ^

And?  Everyone would run through a wall for their favorite coaches.  I'm sure several of the DBs we put in the pros recently would say that about Zordich?  Do you want Zordich as your DC?  

How about Brady Hoke?  Because if you like coaches who have former players running through walls, do I have a coach for you. 

Hafley does not have a resume that supports him being a DC.  I didn't say "good" or "great" DC, I said DC at all.  Doesn't support it.  He may be great, who knows.  If Day is good then you expect him to make good hires.  No one really knows if Day is good. 

None of that really matters to Mattison moving to OSU.  He's still a guy we wouldn't have given any more responsibility than DL coach, and they've made him co-DC.  It's a credibility move to support a guy that doesn't have the resume to be there on his own.  

Very good DL coach + Completely unknown commodity DB coach doesn't seem a great situation.  Could work out fine, but it's not like having a Don Brown-level DC. 


January 8th, 2019 at 11:41 AM ^

Don’t see it as rubbing our nose in it or a desperation move. They brought in a young co-defensive coordinator and need someone with a lot of experience to hold his hand for a couple of years and show him the ropes 

Mattison is nearing retirement and was willing to do it for a couple of years. He gets a nice bump in salary for his last couple of years and can probably go out on a high note coaching at OSU. I get it and don’t think it’s a huge loss for us 

Wolverine 73

January 8th, 2019 at 2:39 PM ^

You don’t become a championship team by hiring coaches to spite your rivals, and I find it difficult to believe that is what OSU did.  You hire the best qualified guy you can get.  Seems they must have felt having Mattison with an NFL guy as co-coordinator for a couple years was right for them.  We’ll see if they were right or not.


January 8th, 2019 at 10:08 AM ^

What it does it take away a great D line coach from your rival and before he became a D line coach Mattison was a great D coordinator...  I’m not sure how that would reek of desperation... Making your main “rival” weaker 


January 8th, 2019 at 10:40 AM ^

I don't know about that "great" D coordinator part.  He went to ND and they had a losing record twice, along with getting torched in the Fiesta Bowl by Oregon State.  Charlie Strong was the architect of the Florida defense that won those national titles.  And he was essentially a caretaker of the Baltimore Ravens defense.


Hail to the Vi…

January 8th, 2019 at 11:22 AM ^

Could also be interpreted as a checkers move in a chess game.

Take your rivals' B+ recruiter and D-line coach who is close to retirement which could be viewed as weakening your opponent.. unless of course they've created an opportunity for Harbaugh to go out and add a young, elite recruiter to his staff and promote the guy they really want in Washington.

Hopefully Jim capitalizes on the opportunity OSU created for him.


January 8th, 2019 at 10:09 AM ^

I think that, for one reason or another that we will likely learn soon, there was not going to be a place on our coaching staff for Mattison next year and that OSU hiring them as a "co"-defensive coordinator is just both 1) a soft landing spot for him, and 2) a way for OSU to poke us in the eye with a stick because they are pure evil like Joffrey.

I don't think he is going to be an indispensable part of their staff or that he will be there more than two years.


January 8th, 2019 at 11:05 AM ^

Just because an offer is on the table, doesn't make it a good offer. Presumably, Harbaugh has some limit he can pay his coaches.  If he needs to give raises to Brown and Washington, then maybe part of the money came from Mattison with the expectation he would either retire or just be willing to work for less. In that situation, I could see Mattison getting upset and leaving, while Harbaugh reasonably still trying to protect assets he valued more. 


January 8th, 2019 at 10:30 AM ^

It's not an insult - it's a matter of fact that we can and should upgrade. If you could never upgrade from an older, retiring professional with someone younger, then progress would never happen. Swag Mattison did great for us while he was here - now it's time for someone to improve on what Mattison accomplished.


January 8th, 2019 at 12:55 PM ^

The longevity of who is going to be there is an upgradable aspect. I definitely will give you that. I have a lot of respect for what Mattison accomplished as both a DC and a DL coach on the field and in recruiting.  He has has always gotten a lot of accolades and the only thing now is that since he left a new narrative was formed. There are only a handful of guys with his combination of talent coaching and recruiting ability. They all are in positions where they are staying. The best case scenario is finding a good up and coming coach with good energy that can grow into that level.  If that can be found the longevity of a younger coach in that position will pay more dividends than having Mattison stay. 

Arb lover

January 8th, 2019 at 10:10 AM ^

It sounds like maybe there's a backstory, and I suggest we just let this guy move on. He was Maize and Blue for a long time. Also, there are like five threads on this topic you could have posted this in. 

SD Larry

January 8th, 2019 at 10:19 AM ^

There is a back story that we may or may not get to know.  Sure would like to know though.  Still want to know why Aubrey Solomon transferred before the bowl game.  In some sense, as much as I like Coach Mattison, the Solomon transfer is a big time disappointment as well.  While GM won't be at OSU nearly as long as he was at Michigan, very disappointing he ends up going there, of all places.  Still upvoted you for trying to get us to move on, but I would love to know why.  Understand why its good for OSU on paper.  If it turns out to be good for Michigan, that is all I really care about.


The Mad Hatter

January 8th, 2019 at 10:12 AM ^

They brought him in to help their new (young) co-dc learn how to DC from one of the greats.  It was a pretty smart move on their part.  They deprive us of an excellent DL coach and they get someone who will retire in a few years to train their DC on how to beat Michigan.

I was pissed about it at first, but Mattison is getting old and the DL wasn't great against OSU and Florida, so maybe it was time for a change there anyway.

Reggie Dunlop

January 8th, 2019 at 10:34 AM ^

Can't believe I had to scroll even this far to read this reply. Exactly right, Hatter

OSU hired Jeff Hafley to be their new co-DC. A 39-year old career defensive backs coach. It'll be his first time running a defense. To assist him in getting his feet under him, they hired Mattison - a 69-year-old grizzled veteran who ran defenses at both the NFL and collegiate level. He's a perfect mentor for the young defensive mind they want to nurture.



January 8th, 2019 at 10:13 AM ^

Ohio State had a bad defense last year and still won the Big Ten.  Mattison and the other moves they're making will help get their defense back on track.  

This was an odd move, but considering he's co-DC, it's a really good one.  When you can pull your rivals best position coach away from them, you do it.  It hurts Michigan, it helps OSU, and the optics of it are really bad for Michigan.