Utah assistant coach Brian Johnson interviewed Thursday for the open vacancy on the Bulldogs coaching staff.
February 7, 2014 7:42:12 PM
STARKVILLE -- Multiple sources inside the Mississippi State football program confirmed to The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog Friday evening Utah quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson has agreed to join the Bulldogs coaching staff.
Johnson will coach the quarterbacks at MSU but the rest of the details involving his title and restructuring of the rest of the Bulldogs current coaching staff is still unknown at this time. An official announcement by the university of Johnson's hiring and the titles of the entire staff is expected to take place Monday.
Johnson was in Starkville Thursday to interview with MSU head coach Dan Mullen and discuss his role to fill the vacancy on the coaching staff.
Johnson, who will turn 27 on Feb.16, has been identified as the leading candidate to fill the MSU coaching staff vacancy left when Les Koenning left Starkville to become the new wide receivers coach at Texas on Jan. 15.
MSU coach Dan Mullen said in a text message to the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog that nothing official had been decided yet in terms of filling the vacancy or restructuring of the titles of current staff members.
The Dispatch reported last week that Johnson was on a list of possible candidates to take over the open vacancy on the staff. Multiple sources have confirmed Friday to the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog that Johnson if hired by MSU, would be responsible for the quarterback position.
Johnson served as the Utes offensive coordinator at his alma mater last season for a disappointing 5-7 season that saw his offense average 29.2 points per game, good for just ninth in the Pac-12 Conference. Subsequently, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham hired former Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen as its new offensive coordinator and reassigned Johnson back to just coaching the Utes' signal callers. Johnson was recruited to Utah by Mullen but the MSU coach never got to coach Johnson personally as Urban Meyer brought Mullen from Utah to Florida in that offseason.
In his National Signing Day media conference, Mullen made no secret about how the offensive play calling happened during the 2013 season and will continue to operate in the future.
"I called all the plays for us last year. I spent a lot of time with the quarterbacks," Mullen said Wednesday. "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."
Johnson was the starting quarterback for the Utes in a 31-17 upset win against Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. Johnson led then No. 7 Utah with 336 passing yards and three passing touchdowns and was named the 2009 Sugar Bowl Most Outstanding Player.
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