The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 21 of 75

22 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2019 BY CHRIS BALAS W hen Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison and linebackers coach Al Washington left for jobs at Ohio State in January, some quickly reacted as many might expect — out- raged that U-M's coaches would leave for a hated rival. It made more sense for Washington. The Columbus native's dad played for Woody Hayes at Ohio State, after all, and he still has family and ties there. Coaching at OSU was a dream job for him. For Mattison, though, it was more a "fool me once" scenario. He'd left Michigan before in a lateral move, going to Notre Dame in 1997 as the program's defensive coordinator, and while he's now co-defensive coordi- nator for the Buckeyes, it's hard not to raise an eyebrow at the defection. More than anything, however, fans and media wanted to see how head coach Jim Harbaugh would react to the moves. Rather than address the defense immediately, however, he de- cided to make a splash on the other side of the ball first — and did he ever. JOSH GATTIS LEAVES ALABAMA TO BECOME MICHIGAN'S NEW OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR After a year of being asked "who calls the plays?" and never really pro- viding a concrete answer, Harbaugh stunned many in poaching Alabama co-offensive coordinator Josh Gattis from Nick Saban, vowing to give him the keys to the offense. It all happened in a matter of five hours. "I found out through the grape- vine that Josh was considering going to Maryland, so we reached out and asked if he had interest in Michigan," Harbaugh recalled on his 'Attack Each Day' podcast. "I called him at 9 a.m. and by 3:30 p.m., he was coming to Michigan. He was on a plane here a day or two later." It didn't take long for the two of them to hit it off. Harbaugh cited Gat- tis' player development at Western Michigan, Vanderbilt and Penn State as factors that jumped out to him. Gattis coached wide receivers at all of those stops — he was also the passing game coordinator at Penn State for four years — and they all had great success. This past year, he helped sophomore Jerry Jeudy go from 14 catches for 264 yards and two touch- downs in 2017 to 68 receptions which gained 1,315 yards and 14 scores en route to the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's best wideout in 2018. "He's well regarded across the coun- try and in the world of football, and I wanted to find someone who could co- ordinate and run our whole offense," Harbaugh said. "We have the same philosophy offensively, which I like. "I like the idea of Josh running our offense. When you talk offense with Josh, he has a vision that is clear, clean and concise." He's also known as an outstanding recruiter. COACHING CAROUSEL Jim Harbaugh Adds More Rising Stars To His Staff Josh Gattis served as the co-offensive coordinator for an Alabama attack that improved from No. 29 nationally for total offense in 2017 to No. 6 this past season, and he was a successful pass- ing game coordinator at Penn State from 2014-17. PHOTO COURTESY PENN STATE

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