Utah’s Co-OC Brian Johnson the Latest Name to Come Up in Coaching Search

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CoachingSearch.com is reporting that Utah Co-offensive coordinator and QB coach Brian Johnson is a potential candidate to fill the assistant coaching vacancy at Mississippi State. Here is Johnson’s bio page at Utah.  Given his youth (not quite 27 years old) I have to assume he would only be a QB coach.

Earlier this week Wake Forest O.C. Steed Lobotzke’s name emerged. A couple of weeks before that there were strong rumors that a special teams coach might be hired.

Here is what Coach Mullen said at his press conference on Wednesday regarding the coaching search:

"We’ve looked at a few things. When you look at the priority of a position, you can get pulled in different directions.January is the silly time in college football. You have a dead period and that is followed by the finishing of recruiting. As soon as you end the season, there’s not a chance to catch your breath or even reflect. There’s no time to even review.We get back now and go into review and we don’t even remember. We’ve played one game since Thanksgiving.There are also opportunities for coaches to move on. You’re trying to hire coaches and hold onto recruits. We were fortunate we only had to make one change on our staff. It wasn’t one that had a major impact on recruiting. It allowed me to have patience and get through recruiting.I called all the plays for us last year. I spent a lot of time with the quarterbacks. The two quarterbacks who are coming in know that I was sort of the quarterback coach anyway. They didn’t have to wait and see who it may be. Fortunately how that worked out it allowed us to take our time. Hopefully within the next week we’ll have something in place."

By saying that, he’s essentially telling everyone that not only was he the QB coach but the offensive coordinator as well. And that was Les Koenning’s job title (OC/QB). So it makes you feel even better that Koenning’s departure will be a mere speed bump as many have suggested.

Knowing this, is he going to hire an outsider to come in and coach his QBs – one of which is getting talked about as a dark-horse for the Heisman Trophy? That just seems unlikely don’t you think? And we know if he hires an O.C. they will not be calling the plays. Certainly if his O.C. of five years wasn’t calling the plays he isn’t going to let a new guy call them, especially in a year where with so much potential.

I still think special teams is the direction Mullen will go, and Billy Gonzales will be promoted to O.C., possible John Hevesy as well with a co-OC title. According to that quote we may know something this week.