In two years with the Wolverines, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison has transformed the unit into one of the best in the Big Ten. Friday afternoon, the athletic department made sure he'd be around for a few more years.
Mattison inked a three-year contract extension that will keep him in Ann Arbor through the 2016 season.
"Michigan is such a special place and it's exciting to know I'll have the opportunity to coach at the greatest program in college football for the next four years, and hopefully long after," Mattison said in a press release. "Part of the reason I came back here is because I wanted to work with Brady [Hoke] again, and every day I'm thankful I made that decision. There's not a better coach or man to work for."
Mattison has overseen a defensive renaissance that is one of the major reasons for the Wolverines' recent success.
A year before his arrival - 2010, former coach Rich Rodriguez's final year - the Michigan defense was historically bad, setting record-highs for yards allowed (450.8 yards per game) and points allowed (35.2 points per game).
After just one season with the Mattison, the defense had made enormous strides. In 2011, the Wolverines allowed 17.8 fewer points per game and 128.6 fewer yards per game than the year before.
Last year, the defense ranked No. 13 nationally in yards allowed per game (320.0 yards per game), slightly better than the year before, and No. 19 nationally in scoring defense 19.8 points per game.
Once called the best recruiter in the nation by Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, Mattison has also set Michigan up for strong future success with excellent defensive classes in the last few years.
Considering all that, the contract extension was a no-brainer.
"We're excited Greg will remain at Michigan for the next four-plus years," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. "What he's done for this program, our defense and for our kids on and off the field over the last two years, he's the best there is. I've known Greg and Ann and their kids for my entire coaching career, and I'm personally thrilled they will be here for a long time."
"Greg has proven to be one of the top coordinators in the country, college or pro, and he is regarded as one of the best recruiters in college football," added Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon. "Greg's resume speaks for itself, and he has done great things with our defense in his two years with the program. He has great passion for the University of Michigan and for the young men that represent our team. We are glad to have Greg in the fold for the foreseeable future."