John Matsko’s history developing offensive linemen bodes well for Redskins
John Matsko’s career
Matsko’s career began in 1974 when he was a graduate assistant for the Miami (OH) Redhawks as a part of Dick Crum’s coaching staff. Save for a one-year stop as a high school head coach, Matsko worked with Crum for a decade (1974-1984) as a graduate assistant, offensive line coach, and eventually, as an offensive coordinator with the North Carolina Tarheels from 1978 to 1984.
Crum was a good mentor for Matsko to learn under. Their Tar Heels squad went 55-25-2 during their time together and Mastko learned the fundamentals of being a good coach. They were able to win four consecutive bowl games together before Matsko eventually decided to pursue some other opportunities.
For the next seven years starting in 1985, Matsko traversed the college football ranks with stops at Navy, Arizona, and USC. He found success at USC in two years as an offensive line coach before being promoted to the offensive coordinator spot under Larry Smith. In Matsko’s first year running the offense, he led the team to a 9-2-1 record and a Rose Bowl victory.
Following the 1991 season, Matsko’s tenure at USC ended and the NFL came calling. In 1992, Matsko was hired as the offensive line coach for the Phoenix Cardinals. The man that hired him for the job? It was none other than Redskins legend Joe Bugel, the Cardinals’ head coach and architect of The Hogs. So, his endorsement of Matsko back in the 90s is certainly notable.
For 28 years (and counting), Matsko would hold down an offensive line coaching spot at the NFL level. He has learned under a number of notable head coaches during his NFL days including:
- Jim Mora Jr. (Saints, 1994-1996)
- Jim Fassel (Giants, 1997-1998)
- Dick Vermeil and Mike Martz (Rams, 1999-2005)
- Herm Edwards (Chiefs, 2006-2007)
- John Harbaugh (Ravens, 2008-2010)
- Ron Rivera (Panthers/Redskins, 2011-2020)
Needless to say, that’s an impressive group for Matsko to have worked with. And the success he experienced with the Rams is certainly notable given that he helped to build the offensive line for “The Greatest Show on Turf.” But more recently, Matsko has shown a penchant for being able to develop talent on the offensive line, so we’ll trace some of that work starting with what he did under Harbaugh with the Ravens.