"I'm excited that David is coming back home to rejoin the Mountaineer football family," Stewart said. "He brings an extensive knowledge of the game and years of experience that will be an asset to our program. David has all the intangibles you look for in a coach, leadership, charisma and loyalty. He pays complete attention to detail, has an outstanding ability to communicate effectively and has an exceptional ability to stress the fundamentals to the players. I look forward to working with him for years to come."
This marks the fifth addition to Stewart's coaching staff over the past week and he now has two more assistants to hire to complete the coaching staff. Steve Dunlap (Assistant HC/S), Chris Beatty (RB) and David Lockwood (CB) were named last Friday and John "Doc" Holliday (Associate HC/Recruiting Coordinator/TE-FB) was announced on Saturday.
"I am excited to come back ‘home' to West Virginia University and work on an outstanding staff that Bill Stewart is putting together," Johnson said. "The reasons that I am coming to West Virginia are the same reasons that I went there as a student-athlete years ago. The University is an outstanding institution with a tremendous amount of potential, both academically and athletically. Bill Stewart is a man of high integrity as was Frank Cignetti, who I played for years ago. Both are quality leaders who have tremendous vision and the ability to coach football.
"The administration has done a quality job of putting the right people in place and giving the program the resources to be one of the top schools in the nation. I am thrilled to return to the great state of West Virginia and be supported by one of the greatest fan bases in the country.
"This is a bittersweet day in some respects. Dave Johnson was part of our original staff here at Georgia and he and his family have been a blessing to our program," said Georgia coach Mark Richt. "At the same time, we're excited for the opportunity he has in returning to his alma mater. Everything he has done at Georgia has been done with excellence and we wish him and his family the very best. We will certainly miss them."
Johnson joins the West Virginia staff after serving as the tight ends coach at Georgia for the past seven years. He was part of the Mark Richt's original staff named in 2001.
During his seven-year tenure with the Bulldogs, he helped lead Georgia to 72 wins, over 10 wins a season, three SEC East Division Championships, two SEC Championships, five bowl wins and five Top 10 national finishes.
In 2002, the Bulldogs finished as the SEC's top scoring (32.14 ppg) and pass efficiency (138.91) offense and in 2005, led the SEC in passing efficiency (144.0) and were second in scoring offense (29.5 ppg).
Three tight ends who Johnson has already coached are playing in the NFL, all-SEC TE Randy McMichael, currently with the St. Louis Rams; New England Patriot Ben Watson, who was a first round draft choice and all-SEC TE Leonard Pope, a third-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals.
From 1997 to 2000, Johnson worked at Marshall, serving as the recruiting coordinator, tight ends coach, and offensive tackles coach. He helped lead the Thundering Herd compiled a record of 43-9, won four Mid-American Conference football championships, and three Motor City Bowl titles.
Johnson served 10 years at Indiana University, Pa., 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 assisted with the strength and conditioning program. He helped guide the team to a 99-22-1 record, advancing to the NCAA Division II playoffs eight times, including two championship game appearances and three semifinal finishes.
He earned both his bachelor's (1985) and master's degrees (1986) from West Virginia, before coaching at Shippensburg (Pa.) University, for one season, where he had responsibilities for the offensive line, tight ends and strength and conditioning.
Johnson was a four-year letterwinner at West Virginia for legendary Hall of Fame coach Don Nehlen, starting at the center position on the offensive line on two bowl teams (1981 Peach and 1982 Gator). He was also a high school All-American at Penn Hills Senior High School in Pittsburgh, Pa.
He and his wife, the former Lynn Skaff, have four children: Andrew, Lauren, Zachary and Mark.