Matt Mitchell
Matt Mitchell

Last College:
Cornell College ('97)

Head Coach

Third Year

39-11 (.780)


The Final Spring: Heath Parling Gets Back to Basics Following GVSU's Deep Playoff Run

Parling has battled knee, shoulder and back injuries since a breakout season in 2011


2014 Spring Football Practice Update

GVSU to Play Spring Classic on April 12th


E.J. Whitlow Hired As Defensive Line Coach For Laker Football


Lakers Announce 2014 Football Schedule

GVSU set for five regular season home games


Lakers Name Jim Louis Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebacker Coach


GVSU to Play Spring Classic on April 12th

GVSU head coach Matt Mitchell and players Brad Horling and Heath Parling talk about the football team's spring practices


Head coach Matt Mitchell previews Saturday's road playoff game

GVSU head football coach Matt Mitchell talks about Saturday's home playoff game against Northwest Missouri State starting at 3:30 p.m.


Football Interview with Head Coach Matt Mitchell

GVSU head football coach Matt Mitchell talks about the 35-28 playoff win over West Texas A&M and the upcoming national semifinal game at Northwest Missouri State


Head coach Matt Mitchell previews Saturday's home playoff game

GVSU head football coach Matt Mitchell talks about Saturday's home playoff game against West Texas A&M starting at 1:00 p.m. in Lubbers Stadium


Football Interview with Head Coach Matt Mitchell

GVSU head football coach Matt Mitchell talks about the 34-30 playoff win at Colorado State-Pueblo and the upcoming home playoff game against West Texas A&M


Football vs. West Texas A&M

NCAA Playoffs


Football at Colorado State-Pueblo

NCAA Playoffs 2nd Round


Football vs. SVSU

NCAA Playoffs


Football vs. Saginaw Valley State

Battle of the Valleys


Photo Gallery

Matt Mitchell is set for his fifth year as the head coach of the Grand Valley State University football program. Mitchell, who is the seventh head coach in the programs history, is 39-11 as the head coach of the Lakers with two NCAA DII Playoff appearance, a GLIAC Championship and a GLIAC North Division title. The Lakers advanced to the NCAA DII national semifinals in 2013.

Grand Valley State, which enters the 2012 season with the longest winning streak in Division II football (7), averaged 48.2 points in the seven victories to close the 2012 campaign. GVSU spent the early portion of the season in the bottom third of the GLIAC's statistical rankings, however, the Lakers finished the season ranked number one in eight team categories and in the top five of 13.

Mitchell set a Grand Valley State record for most wins in a season for a first-year football coach (11) in 2010. Despite being decimated by injuries, Mitchell guided GVSU to a 10-1 regular season mark and a victory over Colorado Mines in an NCAA DII First-Round playoff game. The Laker defense held five opponents to 10 points or less, while the Laker offense scored 35 points or more nine times.

A six-year veteran of the GVSU coaching staff prior to becoming head coach, Mitchell was the defensive coordinator and linebacker/safety coach for the Lakers. Mitchell's 2009 defense finished the regular season ranked first in the GLIAC in scoring defense (17.7 ppg), rushing defense (95.6 ypg), total defense (305.0 ypg), turnover margin (+22), QB sacks (48), tackles for loss (7.1 pg), and interceptions (21). The Laker defense ranked in the top 20 of six NCAA DII national categories and held six opponents to 10 points or less. Seven Laker defenders earned either All-GLIAC first or second-team honors in 2009.

The 2008 Laker defense led the GLIAC in six different categories and ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense (4th/12.6), QB sacks (2nd/4.17) and tackles for loss (6th/9.17). GVSU also ranked 17th in total defense (278.9), tallied two shutouts and limited seven opponents to 10 points or less on the year with Mitchell at the helm. Ten Lakers earned All-GLIAC plaudits, including Dan Skuta being named the GLIAC Defensive Lineman of the Year and being a consensus all-american selection.

Mitchell's 2007 Laker linebacking unit was the focal point of a GVSU defense that led the GLIAC and ranked nationally in scoring defense (14.5), total defense (303.6), pass efficiency defense (95.6) and QB sacks (42), while ranking second in pass defense (154.7) and rush defense (148.9). Grand Valley State held nine-of-13 opponents under 14 points and only one scored more than 21 points. Adams was a consensus all-american, while Carruth and Beaty earned All-GLIAC honors.

In 2006, the Laker defense held its opponents to seven points or less five times, including a shutout in the season-opener at Findlay. GVSU led the nation in QB sacks per game (3.53), while ranking fifth in turnovers gained (37). The Lakers held 8-of-15 foes under 100 yards rushing. Mitchell's linebacking unit featured All-American Anthony Adams, Matt Beaty, Kirk Carruth and P.J. Beuke. That group comprised four of the top 10 tacklers on the 2006 squad.

In 2005, the Lakers' defensive charge led the nation in pass efficiency defense (83.6), ranked third in scoring defense (12.2), fifth in total defense (254.6) and seventh in rushing defense (88.3). Grand Valley State held its opponents off the scoreboard in 25-of-52 quarters played during the 2005 season and seven-of-13 opponents scored 10 points or less. In addition, nine-of-13 foes failed to reach the 100-yard rushing mark. The Grand Valley State defense yielded 15 TDs in 13 games last season, with six of those 15 TDs coming in the fourth quarter. The Lakers held three opponents out of the endzone for over 11 quarters to start the season.

Mitchell's linebacking unit was key in the Lakers' dominating defense in 2004. GVSU led the GLIAC in scoring defense (14.4), rushing defense (99.2), and total defense (281.2). The Lakers ranked second in pass efficiency defense (95.7) and QB sacks (33). GVSU held six teams to seven points or less with one shutout (34-0 at Wayne State).

Prior to his arrival at GVSU, Mitchell spent four years at Wartburg (Iowa) College as an assistant coach, including the final two as the defensive coordinator. Wartburg, which compiled a record of 21-3 while Mitchell was in charge of the defense, advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III National Championship each of his last two years. Wartburg finished third in total defense, second in rush defense and eighth in scoring defense in 2003 under Mitchell's guidance. His 2002 defense also ranked among the top 10 statistically in Division III.

Mitchell is a certified strength and conditioning coach through the NSCA and a club coach certified through USA Weightlifting. Mitchell was named the Football Quarterly Division II Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year in February 2007.

Mitchell earned his B.S.S in Biology and Secondary Education from Cornell (Iowa) College in 1997. Matt was a two-time, First-Team All-Midwest Conference selection as a defensive lineman during his playing career at Cornell (Iowa) College.

Matt and his wife, the former Jenny Selgo, are the proud parents of sons Trayton (3) and RJ (2).

Louie's Locker Room