FanPost

Utah Hires Brian Johnson As Offensive Coordinator

The Utah Utes have been without an offensive coordinator since before the Sun Bowl when Norm Chow left to take the head coaching job with the Hawaii Warriors, and it took about six weeks to find his replacement. The new offensive coordinator is Brian Johnson who has been the quarterbacks coach for the past two years and was a quarterback for Utah and led them to an undefeated 2008 season which included a blowout over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl.

Here is what Whittingham is saying about the hire:

"After spending the past month conducting a national search for an offensive coordinator, it became very apparent that we had the best candidate for the job right here on our own staff," said Whittingham of his decision to promote Johnson, who turns 25 on Feb. 16. "Brian is a leader and a special coaching talent, just as he was a special player, and he is the right person to lead our offense," said Whittingham, who in 1995 became Utah's defensive coordinator after just one year as an assistant coach.

Promoting Johnson within has gone with what head coach Kyle Whittingham has done ever since he took over the program back in 2005. Every single coordinator hire has been a promotion within with the exception of Norm Chow, but he basically fell into their lap as Chow was being pushed out of his job with the UCLA Bruins.

This should be concerning for Utah that Whittingham had to hire a coach who has only two years of total coaching experience and has never called a play. Chow did mentor Johnson some during his 10 months at Utah, but it is different when you are creating an offensive game plan and are the guy in charge.

This hire shows that Whittingham has basically no offensive coaching connections to draw from. It is also why the only names actually linked to the job were Gary Crowton and Aaron Rodderick. Whittingham could have hired someone who was not from the Utah family, but who knows if Whittingham wanted someone he knew, trusted or someone that he could have control over. The latter seems unlikely since being around Whittingam for the time I covered Utah that does not seem to be the case. He usually lets the offensive staff do their thing.

Johnson is an exceptional talent as he basically was calling the plays during the undefeated 2008 season, but that as I just mentioned that is very different from creating a game plan. Plus, changing a play at the line of scrimmage after seeing what the defense is doing is different than calling plays based on field position and defensive trends.

This hire is seeing a lot of mixed reviews about the hire ranging from what is Whittingham thinking to his track record speaks for himself. However, none have said that this a great hire and I am in between but leaning toward this not being the best move for the Utah program.

In This FanPost

Teams
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pacific Takes

You must be a member of Pacific Takes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pacific Takes. You should read them.

Join Pacific Takes

You must be a member of Pacific Takes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pacific Takes. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker