Brian Kelly spoke with the media on the upcoming game with Michigan
Mattison demands superior effort from himself and his players, an approach that has resulted in some of the best defenses in the nation the past seven seasons with the Irish. His defensive line has set a particularly high standard over the last two seasons. The 2003 Irish defensive line produced 24 of the Irish's single season-record 39 quarterback sacks, including a school-record 13.5 sacks by defensive end Justin Tuck. In 2002, the Irish line recorded 37 sacks for a total of 241 yards, a drastic improvement from 2001 totals.
Mattison has been a crucial factor in the development of some key players the last two seasons, including a pair of 2004 NFL free agent signees in defensive tackles Darrell Campbell and Cedric Hilliard along with emerging stars such as ends Justin Tuck and Victor Abiamiri, and 2002 Moose Krause Lineman of the Year Ryan Roberts.
As defensive coordinator for the Irish from 1997-2001, Mattison's defenses were annually ranked among the nation's toughest. His 2001 unit ranked 14th in the nation in total defense - including 10th in the country in pass defense and 22nd in scoring defense.
A native of Madison, Wis., Mattison was also influential in coaching All-American and second-round NFL draft pick Anthony Weaver. Weaver finished his impressive Notre Dame career with 154 tackles and 17 sacks and started as a rookie defensive end for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens in 2002.
Mattison's 1999 defense recorded 33 sacks during the 2000 season, including a team-high eight by Weaver.
In 1998, Mattison's defense gave up only 16.4 points per game over its last nine regular-season outings - while not giving up a third quarter touchdown in any of its first nine games. In 1997 under Mattison, the Notre Dame defense was ranked 24th in the country in pass efficiency defense and was 31st in the country in scoring defense at 19.83 points per game.
Before coming to Notre Dame, Mattison was the defensive coordinator at the University of Michigan in 1995-96 and had been a member of the Wolverine staff since 1992 as the defensive line coach. He was one of five finalists for the initial Frank Broyles Award in 1996, recognizing the top assistant coach in college football.
Michigan's 1996 defense ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense (15.2 points per game) and the Wolverines also ranked among the top teams in the nation in rushing defense (108.5 yards per game for 17th), pass efficiency defense (20th) and total defense (18th at 300.9). In 1995, Michigan ranked 11th in total defense (286.3) and third in rushing defense (90.1).
Mattison started his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant at Illinois in 1976 under Bob Blackman. He also served as an assistant at Cornell (defensive line in 1977 under Blackman), Northwestern (defensive line in 1978-80 under Rick Venturi), Western Michigan (defensive coordinator from 1984-86 and linebackers from 1982-86 under Jack Harbaugh), Navy (defensive line in 1987-88 under Elliott Uzelac) and Texas A&M (1989-91 under R.C. Slocum).
Coaching the Texas A&M defensive line in 1991, the Aggies boasted the country's top-rated defensive unit (222.4 yards per game) as they won the Southwest Conference title and led the league in all four defensive categories. In 1990, Texas A&M stood 19th in total defense and the Aggies were 13th in 1989.
Mattison has coached numerous players who have been selected in the National Football League draft including A&M's Sam Adams (first round, 1994), Terry Price (10th round, 1990), and Mark Wheeler (third round, 1992); Michigan's William Carr (seventh round, 1997) and Josh Williams (third round, 2000); and Notre Dame's Lance Legree (free agent, 2000), Anthony Weaver (second round, 2002), Darrell Campbell (free agent, 2004) and Cedric Hilliard (free agent, 2004).
He has coached teams that have advanced to bowl games in 12 of the past 15 years - including appearances in the Sun, Holiday and Cotton Bowls during his tenure at Texas A&M, followed by consecutive appearances in the Rose, Hall of Fame, Holiday, Alamo and Outback Bowls at Michigan and trips to the Independence, Gator (twice) and Fiesta Bowls at Notre Dame.
Mattison began his coaching career as head coach at Riverdale (Wis.) High School from 1971-73 and had the top-rated team in Wisconsin at Logan High School in LaCrosse, Wis., from 1974-75. Born Gregory Richard Mattison on Nov. 15, 1949, he earned his undergraduate degree from Wisconsin-LaCrosse in 1971 and a master's degree from Illinois in 1976.
Mattison competed in football and wrestling at Wisconsin-LaCrosse and was team captain in both sports as a junior and a senior. He was a wrestling All-American and was named the offensive MVP on the football team as a senior. In 1989, he was inducted into the Wisconsin-LaCrosse Hall of Fame. He graduated from Madison East High School in 1967.
Mattison is married to the former Ann Busse and they have two children - Lisa, who is a 2003 Notre Dame graduate and a three-time all-BIG EAST softball player, and Bryan, a sophomore football player at the University of Iowa.