Johnson, a native of Pittsburgh and the tight ends coach at Georgia for the last seven years, could be announced as early as midweek, BlueGoldNews.com has learned. Johnson served as a WVU graduate assistant from 1984-85 after completing his Mountaineer playing career. He then went to Shippensburg as an offensive line and tight ends coach in charge of strength and conditioning and Indiana University (Pa.) for the same positions. He was a tight ends and offensive tackles coach at Marshall, in addition to being the recruiting coordinator. He was added to Georgia's staff by head coach Mark Richt in 2001. He has also served as assistant head coach for the SEC champion Bulldogs.
It is expected that Johnson will recruit the western Pennsylvania area for WVU, though that has not been confirmed. Cornerbacks coach David Lockwood has experience in the area, but could be a better fit in other places. Johnson could slide into that role, halving Pennsylvania's rich recruiting grounds with defensive line coach Bill Kirelawich, a Keystone State native who recruits the eastern half.
Johnson could be in charge of the nation's No. 1 prep offensive line player in Parkersburg's Josh Jenkins, who was visited today by West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart and recruiting coordinator John ‘Doc' Holliday. It was unclear if Stewart or Holliday confirmed Johnson's likely hiring to Jenkins, though that seems likely.
According to Johnson's bio on UGA's official athletic site, he has "already coached three stellar tight ends at UGA, all of whom are playing in the NFL -- in 2001, he coached All-SEC TE Randy McMichael, currently with the St. Louis Rams; in 2002-03 he coached Ben Watson, 2004 first round draft choice of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots; and in 2004-05 coached first team All-SEC TE Leonard Pope, third round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the '06 NFL draft. Johnson had served in various capacities at Marshall including recruiting coordinator, tight ends coach, and offensive tackles coach. Prior to joining the staff at Marshall, Johnson served ten years at Indiana University of Pennsylvania including seven seasons (1990-96) as offensive coordinator, offensive line, and strength and conditioning coach and three years (1987-89) as offensive line, tight ends, and strength and conditioning duties.
"A bachelor's and master's degree graduate of West Virginia University, Johnson also served one season at Shippensburg (Pa.) University where he had responsibilities for the offensive line, tight ends, and strength and conditioning. In four years at Marshall, the Thundering Herd compiled a record of 43-9, won four Mid-American Conference football championships, and three Motor City Bowl titles. In his nine seasons at Indiana of Pennsylvania, the team compiled a 99-22-1 overall record reaching the NCAA Division II playoffs eight times including a finalist twice and semi-finalist three times.
"As a four-year letterman at West Virginia, he was the starting center on two bowl teams (1981 Peach and 1982 Gator). Johnson was also a high school All-American at Penn Hills Senior High School, Pittsburgh, Pa. He is married to the former Lynn Skaff and they have four children: Andrew, 19; Lauren, 17; Zachary, 14; and Mark, 12."
It is unknown what Johnson's salary would be. More details will be provided on BlueGoldNews.com as they become available.