Former GVSU player, coach moves to Miami (OH) University

Yoches played, coached in four national championships at GVSU

By A.A. Knorr | 1/21/16 2:53am


GVL / Courtesy - Doug Witte Matt Yoches

After 15 years as a member of the Grand Valley State football program, former player and coach Matt Yoches will be moving on.

Yoches, who was a player on the 2002 and 2003 national championship teams, and a coach on the 2005 and 2006 national title squads, has accepted an offer to become the director of football operations at Miami (OH) University.

“It’s another challenge,” Yoches said. “It was a hard decision to make, it was really difficult. At the end of the day, each opportunity as it comes is going do be a challenge, and I do get excited about challenges. I was excited to work with this staff that I’ll be with at Miami and take what I’ve learned at Grand Valley and put it somewhere else.”

Yoches played at GVSU from 2000 – 2003, and was a four-year letterwinner on the defensive line. After graduating, he hopped on the GVSU coaching staff per the invite of former coach Chuck Martin.

Martin is now the head coach at Miami (OH), after leaving GVSU following the 2009 season. During his time as a GVSU coach, Yoches handled different position groups, starting with the defensive line until 2014, when he switched the coach the running backs.

“It’s a big loss on a lot of levels," said current GVSU head coach Matt Mitchell. "First of all, he’s spanned three different head coaches, played for coach Kelly and Martin and myself. Since he’s been here 15 years, he knew Grand Valley as well as anybody on our staff."

Though Yoches’ will be moving to a new job and location after over a decade in Allendale, he won’t be in completely unfamiliar surroundings. His relationship with Martin, whom he coached under, helped him to land the job in the first place.

“I had coached for Chuck Martin while at Grand Valley – he gave me my first coaching job and I coached for him for six years and I’ve obviously stayed in touch with him,” Yoches said. “When he had an opening on his current staff, he gave me a call.”

Along with making the jump from Division II to Division I football, Yoches will see a major change in his role. At GVSU, Yoches was heavily involved and coaching and recruiting, but at Miami (OH), those aspects of his job will be diminished.

As director of football Operations, Yoches will be involved with everything from housing and dining, to travel and academics with the student-athletes. He won’t roam the sidelines or be involved with the X’s and O’s of the game like he was at GVSU, rather taking care of day-to-day operations to allow other coaches to focus on practices and games.

It’s a change for Yoches, but it’s a change he’s excited to take head-on. He was involved in some of the most successful years of GVSU football history, and will look to take his experience and talents to help his new program.

“It really hasn’t sunk in just yet, little by little each day I’ve come to know a little more how great Grand Valley is and the little things that maybe you take for granted after being at Grand Valley for 16 years,” Yoches said. “But I don’t have any regret about (the move) whatsoever. It’s a good opportunity for me, a new challenge, and after 16 years I was more than ready to step out of my comfort zone.”

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