Virginia offensive line coach Ron Mattes spent eight seasons as an offensive tackle in the NFL, so he knows a thing or two about the position.
He just hasn’t taught it to any college football players in about a decade.
Mattes, a 1985 graduate of Virginia, is not only the Cavaliers’ offensive line coach, he’s also a graduate assistant -- a title opposing recruiters have been using against Virginia’s staff, according to coach Mike London.
Despite the recruiting tactic, London said he has never second-guessed any of his hires.
“His knowledge is as good as any offensive line coach that’s out there,” London said. “… When [recruits] come and visit us and sit there and talk football with him, then that part is quickly dried up as far as being a non-issue.”
Mattes began his coaching career in 1995 at James Madison, where he worked with tight ends, tackles, and both the offensive and defensive lines. He hasn’t coached collegiately since. He’s been a mortgage loan officer, and was a sales manager for VF Imagewear for seven years before establishing Cavalier Sales and Marketing, where he was president for four years.
Mattes told Jeff White of VirginiaSports.com that returning to the game and his alma mater as a GA was “a little different.”
“I looked at it as an opportunity to get back into college football coaching,” Mattes said. “And if I had to take a GA position to get back, because I've been away for 10 years, and get back into the football mode and the way of thinking and get brought up to speed with the new zone-blitz packages and what not, so be it."
London said Mattes’ title is no way indicative of his skill level.
“Right now," he said, "I have the best coaches in the positions I was able to hire them in."