August 1, 2017 Happy Birthday Michigan Man Matt Dyson!

1994 Michigan Football Team | bigbluefootballhistory.com
Matt Dyson, (#91) is shown above with the 1994 Michigan Wolverine Football team. He is seated in the front row – sixth man from the right. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Today is a great day to wish a Happy Birthday to Michigan Man Matt Dyson.  According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Matthew A. “Matt” Dyson was born on this day in the great state of Maryland. He grew up to be an outstanding high school athlete. He was an excellent player at LaPlata High School where he was a running back and defensive end. Matt earned a total of twelve varsity letters in high school: four in basketball, four in track and field, three in football and one in soccer. He was rated as the eighth best defensive end prospect in his senior year. Matt had offers from many schools, but he chose Michigan.

Technically, Matt Dyson was recruited by Bo Schembechler’s staff. However, when Matt arrived in Ann Arbor he was going to play for Coach Gary Moeller. It didn’t matter to Dyson, he probably would have loved to play for Bo, but Mo was okay too!  Matt Dyson did not see action in 1990 and burned his red-shirt during that first year.

it appears that Matt Dyson was a fast learner. He started two games at outside linebacker as a red-shirt Freshman in 1991. He logged enough playing-time to earn his first varsity letter on a team that finished with an overall record of 10 wins and 2 losses. More importantly, Michigan won their fourth consecutive Big Ten title in 1991 with a record of 8-0-0.

Michigan continued to play well in 1992 and so did Matt Dyson. Matt started ten games at outside linebacker and made a ton of tackles. He was becoming a force in the middle for the Wolverines. Dyson’s strong play earned him first team All-Conference honors in 1992. His strong play helped Michigan go undefeated in 1992 with a record of 9-0-3. Again, the Wolverines were Big Ten champs for the fifth consecutive year. Oh, by the way,

Matt Dyson was back in 1993. He was ready for his best season. Dyson started nine games and  earned his third varsity letter. Unfortunately, the 1993 season was a disappointment for Matt,  and his teammates. The Wolverines slipped to a record of 8-4-0 in 1993 and finished fourth in the conference. That was a shocker!

Dyson’s fifth year at Michigan got off to a terrible start when he broke his foot in the season opener against Boston College.  He missed three games, but came back to start seven more games and finished with eight starts for the season. Matt added another letter to his collection. Once again, Michigan finished with an overall record of 8-4-0 and went 5-3-0 in the Big Ten Conference. A healthy Dyson probably played the best game of his career against Colorado State University in the 1994 Holiday Bowl. He was named Defensive Player of the game for his efforts.

Matt Dyson Michigan Football 1994 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Matt Dyson finished a strong 4-year career at Michigan by earning Defensive Player of the Game honors at the 1994 Holiday Bowl. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Matt Dyson’s had an excellent career in Ann Arbor from 1990 to 1994. In addition to making twenty-nine starts and earning four varsity letters, he was a proud member of three Big Ten Championship teams. Dyson made a total of 124-tackles, had 2 pass break-ups, recovered 1 fumble and picked off one pass.

In addition to his solid career at Michigan, Matt Dyson was also part of some important Michigan football “firsts.” Check them out:

  • Matt Dyson was a member of Gary Moeller’s first Michigan team in 1990 (and the last four as well).
  • Dyson was a member of Gary Moeller’s first Big Ten Championship Team (1990).
  • Matt Dyson played on Gary Moeller’s first and only undefeated team (9-0-3) in 1992.
  • Dyson played on Gary Moeller’s first and only top 5 ranked team (5th in AP Poll and 5th in CNN/USA Coaches Poll) in 1992.
  • Matt Dyson played on Gary Moeller’s first and only Rose Bowl winner in January 1993.
  • Dyson played in the first ever games against Penn State and North Carolina State in 1993.
  • Matt Dyson played in the first ever game against Colorado State in 1994.

Matt Dyson was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1995, but had a very short NFL career. He went on to a successful stint as a high school coach in Virginia. Matt Dyson has been the Head Football Coach at George Mason University since 2008.

Today is a good day to remember the contributions of Matt Dyson to Michigan Football. He, and his teammates, contributed forty-four wins to the all-time Wolverine victory total. They also won four of five bowl games. Thanks for the Maize and Blue memories Matt Dyson. I hope you enjoy your special day today. Go Blue!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Dyson

http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/1994fbt.htm

 

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher is a self-proclaimed Michigan Football Archeologist. He spends a considerable amount of his time digging into the 138-year history of Wolverine Football. He is on a mission to share his findings with Maize and Blue football fans everywhere. He is the author of one book about Michigan Football titled "21-194-13 Michigan Football's Greatest Era". His second book titled, "The Legend of Bo Schembechler-How an Unknown Buckeye Became the Winningest Coach in Michigan Football History" was released on September 12, 2017. You can learn something about Michigan Football everyday by going to his website at: bigbluefootballhistory.com. You can also follow him on Social Media.
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