Michael Mutz, an assistant under Ron Randleman during the 2004 Southland Conference championship season, has returned to Sam Houston State to serve as a defensive assistant on head coach Willie Fritz’s Bearkat staff.

Mutz brings 15 years of experience to Huntsville. He served as defensive coordinator at Blinn College last year after six seasons at Missouri Southern State University.

“It means a tremendous amount to be a part of this program again,” Mutz said. “Huntsville’s a very special place to me. Being a native Texan, it’s good to be home. When I got an opportunity to come back, I couldn’t walk away from a chance from coming back to Sam.”

During the 2004 season, Mutz coached the defensive line and was the special teams coordinator for a team that won the Southland Conference championship and won a pair of playoff games over Western Kentucky and Eastern Washington before falling to national runner-up Montana in the semifinals.

After his two-year stint at Sam Houston State, Mutz coached for six seasons at Missouri Southern State with current Bearkat offensive line coach Bart Tatum and wide receivers coach Matt Barrett.

“When I was at Missouri Southern, Bart Tatum was the head coach and Matt Barrett was the offensive coordinator and I was the defensive coordinator. I worked with some good people,” Mutz said.

Mutz will be responsible for coaching the cornerbacks, including preseason All-American Bookie Sneed.

“He was here at Sam Houston before. He was an assistant coach here before. He’s been around some good Sam Houston teams,” Bearkats coach Willie Fritz said. “I’ve been very impressed with him. A coordinator at Blinn College and a coordinator at Missouri Southern. We’re very, very fortunate to have him.”

At Southern Missouri State, Mutz served four years as defensive backs coach at before being promoted to defensive coordinator.

In his first year as defensive coordinator, MSSU led the MIAA conference in total defense, rush defense and fewest first downs allowed. The next season, the team finished eighth in the nation in sacks and tackles for a loss. In his final two seasons at MSSU, Mutz coached two All-Americans, two Academic All-Americans and sixteen all-conference selections.

Prior his stint at Sam Houston, Mutz served as the defensive line and special teams coach at Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College. Mutz began his coaching career at Southern Illinois University (SIU), where coached defensive backs and was the recruiting coordinator.

A 1997 graduate of Colorado Mesa University, Mutz played defensive back for the Mavericks. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and his master's degree in sport psychology from SIU.