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Greg Mattison on Brady Hoke: "You don't know how lucky you are here"

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In the last meeting with reporters of the regular season, defensive coordinator gave a staunch defense of Michigan coach Brady Hoke.

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The clock is ticking for Michigan head coach Brady Hoke and staff.

At least, that is what public perception says. There's still some football left to be played.

With a bowl bid--and coaching career at Michigan--in serious doubt, Hoke's plan for the final game of the season is to not go down without a fight. The Wolverines plan to do just that as they travel to Columbus to face Ohio State (Noon kickoff, ABC) in the annual end-of-season rivalry game.

Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison has been a strong defender of Hoke for most of the season, at one point almost breaking into tears speaking about him.

On Monday, it was no different.

Mattison took to the podium during his weekly press conference and delivered arguably his most passionate and lengthy speech of the season regarding Hoke and the job he is done at Michigan.

"Why should he (Hoke) be here? Because he's a winner," Mattison told reporters. "He's won everywhere he's been, the guy's a winner. Did we win our first year? How'd that happen? Man, I don't know. We had two guys drafted, that wasn't a mirage. That was Brady Hoke who did that.

"Let's be really, really honest that was him who did that."

Hoke's current overall coaching record is 78-69 and was 47-50 when he took the Michigan job.

A lot of noise continues to be made about Michigan's 11-2 season, which also included a victory over Ohio State and a BCS bowl, the first year Hoke was in charge. Since then, the football program has faced lackluster finishes to the season with heavy regression.

According to Mattison, the program never stopped straying from a "team first" attitude.

"We've lost some close games, we've fought," Mattison said. "I don't think we've embarrassed anybody and we come out every day as a Michigan football team and that's the way it'll always be."

Regardless of how many close games the team has lost, the players have always stuck with Hoke and the coaching staff. Mattison said that the players believe in Hoke as much as the coaching staff believes in the players.

In the end, this could be the last game Hoke and staff could be coaching at Michigan.

Regardless what happens in the coming days and weeks, Mattison ended his diatribe after a few minutes of talking with one last item for reporters and Michigan fans that wanted to listen:

Michigan is lucky to have a man like Hoke at the helm.

"I've been with a lot of head coaches, I've seen a lot of them. You don't know how lucky you are here, just telling you that."