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Bobby Johnson
Johnson in 2007 versus Auburn
Title Head coach
College Vanderbilt
Sport Football
Conference SEC
Team record 29–66
Born February 8, 1951 (1951-02-08) (age 59)
Place of birth Columbia, South Carolina
Career highlights
Overall 89–102
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
Awards
SEC Coach of the Year (2008) [1]
Playing career
1969–1972 Clemson
Position Wide receiver / Cornerback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1976
1977–1979
1981–1983
1983–1992
1993
1994–2001
2002–present
Furman (DE coach)
Furman (DB coach)
Furman (DB coach)
Furman (DC)
Clemson (DC)
Furman
Vanderbilt

Robert Alan Johnson (born February 8, 1951) is a college football head coach of the Vanderbilt University Commodores.

In December 2001, Johnson became the Commodores' head coach, after leading Furman University to the Division I-AA national championship game. He coached the Paladins between 1994–2001, leading the team to a 60–36 overall record during his eight years. Prior to his hiring at Furman, Johnson was also the defensive coordinator for the Clemson Tigers.

Johnson is currently in his seventh year with Vanderbilt, making him the second-longest tenured active head coach in the Southeastern Conference, only behind Mark Richt at Georgia, who is in his eighth.

On December 31, 2008, Johnson led Vanderbilt to its first winning season since 1982 after going 7-6 (4-4 SEC) and winning a 16-14 postseason game over Boston College, its first bowl win since 1955 (only Vanderbilt's second bowl win overall).

Contents

Student-athlete

Johnson was a standout in football, basketball, and baseball during his time at Eau Claire High School in his native hometown of Columbia, South Carolina.[2]

He continued his success in football to college, where he played both wide receiver and cornerback for Clemson University. In the 1971 and 1972 seasons, Johnson led the Tigers in interceptions.[2] Twice Johnson was named as an ACC All-Academic honoree. He graduated from Clemson in 1973, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in management, before earning his master's degree in education from Furman in 1979.[2]

Coaching career

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Vanderbilt

On December 23, 2001, Johnson was officially announced as the 25th head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores football team.[2]

2005 – In Johnson's fourth season, the Commodores finished 5–6 and defeated in-state rival Tennessee in Knoxville for the first time since 1975. Jay Cutler, the team's offensive captain that season, was drafted #11 overall by the Denver Broncos and named as starting quarterback during his rookie season.

2006 – In the 2006 season, Vanderbilt fell to 4–8 after the loss of Cutler, but did beat Georgia at Sanford Stadium. In addition, Vanderbilt lost games to Ole Miss, Alabama, SEC West champion Arkansas, and eventual national champion Florida by a touchdown or less—an impressive feat for a team normally considered a "gimme win" by SEC teams. After eight games Atlanta Journal-Constitution college football writer Tony Barnhart stated that Johnson "deserves some consideration" for SEC Coach of the Year, albeit based on a misstated record of 4–5 instead of 3–5. [3]

Barnhart's 2006 postseason survey of ten former SEC coaches ranked the Vanderbilt job the least attractive in the SEC. Former Ole Miss coach Billy Brewer summarized Johnson's performance: "The tough thing about the Vanderbilt job is that you can improve a lot from year to year and still finish last in the SEC East. For what he has, I think Bobby Johnson does a heck of a coaching job."[4]

2007 – Johnson again led the Commodores to success in 2007, with SEC conference wins over Mississippi and South Carolina, ranked No. 6 at the time of the contest. Standing with a 5–5 record, the Commodores then squandered a 24–9 third-quarter lead against in-state rival Tennessee, losing 25–24 after a 49–yard Bryant Hahnfeldt field goal attempt that would have won the game glanced off the left upright. Concluding the season with an uninspired effort versus Wake Forest, Vanderbilt finished 5–7 and one win short of bowl eligibility.

2008 – Vanderbilt started the 2008 season on a 5–0 run under Coach Johnson, including SEC wins at home against South Carolina and Auburn, and an SEC road win at Ole Miss. Vanderbilt's fifth game, an October 4 match up against Auburn, was historic for the Commodores for many reasons. Aside from being Vanderbilt's first game as a ranked team in many years, it was ESPN College Gameday's first ever appearance in Nashville, and the 14–13 win gave Vanderbilt its first 5–0 start since the WWII-shortened 1943 season. Vanderbilt would go on to defeat Kentucky to get the sixth win and bowl eligibility for the first time since 1982. The Commodores would lose to Tennessee and Wake Forest to finish the regular season 6–6. On December 10, Johnson was named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, along with Houston Nutt, of Ole Miss, and Nick Saban, of Alabama.[1] On December 31, Vanderbilt would defeat Boston College in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl to secure a winning season and their first bowl victory since 1955.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Furman Paladins (Southern Conference) (1994–2001)
1994 Furman 3–8 2–6 6th
1995 Furman 6–5 5–3 3rd
1996 Furman 9–4 6–2 3rd
1997 Furman 7–4 5–3 3rd
1998 Furman 5–6 3–5 T-6th
1999 Furman 9–3 7–1 T-1st L 30-23 vs. UMass I-AA First Round
2000 Furman 9–3 6–2 2nd L 31-24 vs. Hofstra I-AA First Round
2001 Furman 12–3 7–1 T-1st L 13-6 vs. Montana I-AA Championship Game
Furman: 60–36 41–23
Vanderbilt Commodores (Southeastern Conference) (2002–present)
2002 Vanderbilt 2–10 0–8 6th (East)
2003 Vanderbilt 2–10 1–7 T-5th (East)
2004 Vanderbilt 2–9 1–7 T-5th (East)
2005 Vanderbilt 5–6 3–5 5th (East)
2006 Vanderbilt 4–8 1–7 6th (East)
2007 Vanderbilt 5–7 2–6 6th (East)
2008 Vanderbilt 7–6 4–4 T-3rd (East) W Music City
2009 Vanderbilt 2–10 0–8 6th (East)
Vanderbilt: 29–66 12–52
Total: 89–102
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

References

External links

Preceded by
Jimmy Satterfield
Furman University Head Football Coach
1994 – 2001
Succeeded by
Bobby Lamb
Preceded by
Woody Widenhofer
Vanderbilt University Head Football Coach
2002 –
Succeeded by
Incumbent

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