Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bryan Mattison's Mother And Greg Mattison's Wife Will Have Some Major Decisions To Make At the Iowa-Florida Outback Bowl Football Game In Tampa

When the Outback Bowl football game is played Jan. 2 in Tampa, Fla., Greg Mattison will be on one sideline and his son, Bryan, will be on the opposite side of the field.

Greg, 56, is Florida’s co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, and Bryan is a 262-pound sophomore defensive end for Iowa.

Now the big question:

Where will Ann Mattison – Greg’s wife and Bryan’s mother – be sitting?

Bryan [pictured at the top] was joking to a reporter from Voice of the Hawkeyes about that.

He told the reporter that his mom was going to sit on the Iowa side because she loves him more,” Greg was told today.

Greg [right] laughed.

“I was going to say there’s probably a good chance of that,” he said. “It depends on where her tickets are. But the thing I remind her of is that the house she lives in and the car she drives are being paid for by [the University of] Florida. So that’s something she’d better keep in mind.

“You know how moms are. She’s been so proud of Bryan. This is a huge deal for her to see him and be right there [at the bowl game]. I know one thing—it’s probably going to be a lot harder on her than on Bryan and I.

“She probably does love him more, you never know.”


Actually, Ann Mattison knows a lot already about being among Iowa's fans.

Greg said his wife “has gone to most of [the Hawkeyes’] games this season.

“And she and I have videotaped the games at home,” Greg said. “I’d watch the tapes when I’d come home from meetings.”

He said he received only three of the tapes of Iowa’s games that were supposed to be sent to him.

Greg was on hand for Iowa’s home games against Michigan on Oct. 22 and Minnesota on Nov. 19 because Florida didn’t play on those Saturdays.

“I got a chance to see two real good games,” he said.


Greg Mattison said he and Bryan “have talked to each other on the phone every day since he went to Iowa.

“It never gets into X’s and O’s, obviously. We’d never do that. He has a job to do and I have a job to do.

“We talked about the fact that, when you’re a major college coach and your son is a major college player, the chances of you ever being together at the holiday are slim and none—especially when you’re with two great programs like Florida and Iowa.”


Greg Mattison said he and Bryan “were very excited” when the Iowa-Florida bowl game became a reality.

“Ironically, at the end of last season Ann and I got to watch the Iowa-LSU game in the Capital One Bowl,” Greg said. “When Iowa scored that final touchdown [to win], I looked at my wife and said, ‘You realize that sometime in your son’s career we could be playing against them.

“She said, ‘No way!’

“I said, ‘Yes, it’s in the bowl alliance. What would you do then?’

She gave me one of those ‘mother’ looks like I had just gotten my hand caught in the cookie jar, and I didn’t ask again.”


Greg Mattison said there was never any discussion that Bryan might continue his football career at Florida.

“He came close to playing for Notre Dame,” Greg said. “We offered him [a scholarship] and wanted him. But I didn’t think it was in his best interests to play for his dad.

“His mother says he would have gone there, but she didn’t like the position coach.”

[Greg Mattison was on Notre Dame’s coaching staff from 1998-2004. From 1998-2001, he was the defensive coordinator. Bryan played his high school football in Mishawaka, Ind.]


Greg Mattison said Bryan “is so committed to Iowa that you couldn’t get him out of there if you tried. I’d never think of it.”

Greg said Bryan “has a great coach [Kirk Ferentz] and a great staff at Iowa. I’d have never given my blessing for him to go to Iowa if I didn’t think that was the best thing. I felt, from the day he went there, he was in great hands. “


Although he’s supposed to be preoccupied with spending time with his defensive players on the sideline when Florida’s offense is on the field, Greg Mattison said, “I’ll probably sneak a look at No. 99 of Iowa [Bryan] and see how he’s doing” during the bowl game.

“The thing I’m worried about is, if a play comes to our side of the field, he might try to take me out or something like that,” Greg said with a laugh.

“I know he’s got that in him.”


--Ron Maly
Dec. 8, 2005