Ryan Day wasted no time poaching some of Michigan’s top assistants away from Ann Arbor and bringing them into Columbus. First, it was defensive line coach Greg Mattison followed by linebackers coach Al Washington.
Both traded in the maize and blue for scarlet and grey.
On Wednesday, both Mattison and Washington addressed the media about the transition from Ann Arbor to Columbus, and being on the different side of the rivalry. Mattison said it was about the opportunity to be a coordinator again. For Washington, the arrival at Ohio State is a bit of a homecoming.
Washington admits the transition has taken some time. The linebackers coach said he’s had to do “about 30 pushups” for referring to Ohio State’s rival as “Michigan” rather than “That team up North.”
Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington is the final new assistant to meet with the media. On being caught saying Michigan, where he worked previously, instead of The Team Up North: "I've had to bang out about 30 push-ups."
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) February 6, 2019
Much like Mattison, Washington gave plenty of praise to Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.
“I absolutely have a ton of respect for Coach Harbaugh,” Washington said. “It was a tough decision. And throughout it all, he was respecting where I was coming from.”
Washington, a native of Columbus, spent one season in Ann Arbor before coming home.