Greg Mattison has been here before, coaching the defense at Michigan in 1995 and 1996 under Lloyd Carr. Under Mattison's guidance, the Michigan defense thrived, ranking among the best in the nation. With the Wolverines' defense hitting a low-point in 2010, leading to the firing of Rich Rodriguez, Mattison has a tough task ahead, but has the track record that shows he can get it done.
In 1995, Mattison took over a defense giving up 22.3 points per game, ranked 38th in the nation. Not bad, but not dominant, either. In his first year at the helm -- the first year of Carr's tenure -- the defense improved, giving up just 17.2 points per game, ranked 13th in the nation. The defense took a step forward in his second, and final, year overseeing the defense at Michigan, giving up 15.3 points per game, ranked 8th in the nation.
Though points per game are the only stats available going that far back, there's a clear improvement along the way, at least in the broadest sense. Of course, it helped he had Charles Woodsen roaming the defensive backfield, but the point still remains.
In Mattison, Michigan is getting a coordinator with an immense amount of experience on the defensive side of the ball, plucking him straight from the NFL to boot. It's clear the Wolverines need all the help they can get, and head coach Brady Hoke's ability to lure Mattison back to Ann Arbor is a step in the right direction for a team that desperately needs a defensive spark.