PHILADELPHIA – Joe Johnson has been named an offensive assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania, as announced on Tuesday by George A. Munger Head Coach of Football Ray Priore.
“We are excited to add Joe to our coaching staff,” Priore said. “He has tremendous experience on the offensive side of the ball as both a player and a coach. In his brief coaching career, he has been able to learn from some of the best minds in the game. He comes to us from a Rice program which has been producing well on the offensive side of the ball, and has had experience in some big games. We are looking forward to him working with our student-athletes and helping the Penn Football program continue its tradition of producing tight ends and linemen who are weapons in both the passing and run-blocking schemes.”
Johnson comes to the Quakers after spending three seasons on the staff at Rice University. After beginning his career with the Owls as a quality control coach during the 2013 season, Johnson spent the last two seasons as an offensive graduate assistant coach where he was responsible for installing and running opponents’ defensive schemes with the scout team each week and charted opponents’ game-day tendencies. In addition, Johnson served as recruiting coordinator for the Heartland area.
The Owls went 23-16 during Johnson’s three seasons in Houston, including a 10-4 record in 2013 which was good for the Conference USA championship and resulted in a trip to the Liberty Bowl. In 2014, Rice went 8-5, including a 30-6 win over Fresno State in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. Johnson helped coach guard Andrew Reue to first-team All-Conference USA honors in 2015 and center Nate Richards to first-team All-CUSA honors in 2013.
Johnson is no stranger to Penn’s offensive coordinator, John Reagan, as the two were on the same coaching staff at Rice in 2013 while Regan was offensive coordinator for the Owls.
“It is a huge honor to join the coaching staff at such a historic program,” Johnson said. “Penn prides itself on competing for championships each year and producing quality young men who go on to do great things. I couldn’t be happier to have this opportunity. I was able to work with Coach Reagan while at Rice in 2013, and I am thrilled to have the chance to coach with him again. I am thankful to him and Coach Priore for bringing me on staff, and excited to get to work.”
Johnson graduated from North Texas in 2011 after a four-year career as a center for the Mean Green. A captain of the 2011 team, Johnson earned Sun Belt All-Freshman honors in 2008 while earning the Phillip Armour Award as UNT’s Offensive Lineman of the Year. Over his four years, he blocked for the Mean Green’s all-time leading rusher, Lance Dunbar, who ran for 4,224 yards and went to play in the NFL.
Johnson holds a degree in sociology from North Texas, with minors in business management and business marketing. While a student at UNT, he was a member of the Sun Belt Conference Honor Roll.
Johnson replaces Jeff Blasko, who accepted a coaching position in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers.