David Johnson has been named Florida State’s running backs coach and recruiting coordinator, head coach Mike Norvell announced Sunday.
“I’m so very excited to announce the hiring of David Johnson as our running backs coach and recruiting coordinator,” Norvell said. “Coach Johnson is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had the opportunity to be around throughout my career as a player or coach. He is a remarkable teacher and mentor who has tremendous versatility in knowledge and skillset developing players at the running back and wide receiver positions. As a former high school head coach, he brings great insight and is a great evaluator of talent that has translated extremely well to the collegiate and pro level. He has been one of the nation’s top recruiters and does a great job of building relationships throughout the process.”
Johnson, who has spent the last two seasons at Tennessee, reunites with Norvell after coaching on his Memphis staff in 2016 and 2017. Johnson also brings Division I experience from Tulane and before that spent 12 years as a high school coach in New Orleans around a four-year stint at Millsaps College.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” Johnson said. “I’m looking forward to working with Coach Norvell again to help place FSU back on top while being able to recruit in the best state in the nation.”
Tennessee improved from four wins the season before Johnson arrived to eight wins and a Gator Bowl victory in 2019. He coached the Vols’ wide receivers in 2018 before moving to running backs in 2019, leading a group that produced five 100-yard rushing games.
Eric Gray broke UT’s single-game true freshman rushing record with 246 yards against Vanderbilt, a total that ranked fifth on the Vols’ all-time list. Nationally, it was the ninth-highest single-game total, and highest by a true freshman, in 2019. Gray was named Gator Bowl MVP after recovering an onside kick and scoring the game-winning touchdown 30 seconds later. The 2018 team ranked sixth in the SEC with an average of 7.9 yards per catch and had four different receivers average more than 14.0 yards per reception, led by Josh Palmer’s 21.04 average.
In his two seasons at Memphis, Johnson was the Tigers’ wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. He developed former walk-on Anthony Miller to consensus All-America honors in 2017 after Miller led the NCAA with 18 receiving touchdowns and ranked third in the country with 1,462 yards and fifth with 96 receptions. Miller was then selected 51st overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. Memphis concluded the 2017 season ranked second in the country with an average of 45.5 points per game, fourth with 523.1 yards of total offense per game, sixth with a passing efficiency rating of 160.15 and seventh with an average of 335.0 passing yards per game.
Johnson graduated from Nicholls State in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in general education. He and his wife, Akeia, have three children, Jermaine, De’Von and Karaaz.
David Johnson Coaching History
2020- Florida State Running Backs Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
2019 Tennessee Running Backs Coach
2018 Tennessee Wide Receivers Coach
2016-17 Memphis Wide Receivers Coach/Passing Game Coordinator
2012-15 Tulane Running Backs and Tight Ends Coach
2009-11 St. Augustine High School (La.) Head Coach
2005-08 Millsaps College Wide Receivers, Tight Ends and Special Teams
2000-04 O. Perry Walker High School (La.) Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers and
Tight Ends Coach
1997-99 John F. Kennedy High School (La.) Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers and
Tight Ends Coach
FSU’s assistant coaching staff
Kenny Dillingham – Offensive coordinator / quarterbacks
Adam Fuller – Defensive coordinator
John Papuchis – Special teams coordinator / defensive ends coach
Odell Haggins – Associate head coach / Defensive tackles coach
Chris Marve – Linebackers coach / defensive run game coordinator
TJ Rushing – Defensive backs coach
Chris Thomsen – Tight ends coach / deputy head coach
Alex Atkins – Offensive line coach
Ron Dugans – Receivers coach
David Johnson – Running backs coach