Report: IU football to hire Craig Johnson as running backs coach

Indiana appears to have completed a quick search to find Deland McCullough’s replacement.

According to a report by Adam Rittenberg of ESPN, IU will hire long-time NFL coach Craig Johnson to take on the associate head coach and running back coach roles vacated by McCullough.

The 61-year-old Johnson spent the last two years as an analyst on the Maryland staff, prior to a two-decade career in the NFL.

Johnson and IU strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman were both on the New York Giants staff from 2016 to 2019.  Johnson arrived in New York in 2014.

Under Johnson’s guidance, in 2018 Giants rookie Saquon Barkley was voted rookie of the year. He had back to back 1,000 seasons under Johnson.

Johnson spent a decade with the Tennessee Titans.  In 2002 he was promoted to quarterbacks coach. As quarterbacks coach, Johnson developed an NFL co-MVP (Steve McNair, 2003), an NFL Rookie of the Year (Vince Young, 2006) and helped veteran Kerry Collins recapture his high level of play. The quarterback group totaled six Pro Bowl invitations during his coaching tenure.

In 2010, Johnson was promoted to Assistant Head Coach and running backs coach with Tennessee. That year, Pro Bowler Chris Johnson ran for 1,364 yards and led the team with 44 catches.

Here is Johnson’s complete history.

  • 2020-21:  Analyst, Maryland
  • 2014-2019: Running Backs Coach, New York Giants
  • 2011-2013: Quarterbacks Coach, Minnesota Vikings
  • 2010: Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach, Tennessee Titans
  • 2002-2009: Quarterbacks Coach, Tennessee Titans
  • 2000-2001: Offensive Assistant/Quality Control, Tennessee Titans
  • 1999: Quarterbacks Coach, University of Maryland
  • 1997-1998: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach, University of Maryland
  • 1992-1996: Quarterbacks Coach, Northwestern University
  • 1989-1991: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach, Virginia Military Institute
  • 1986-1988: Running Backs Coach, Rutgers University
  • 1985: Fullbacks Coach, Army
  • 1984: Graduate Assistant, University of Arkansas
  • 1983: Graduate Assistant, University of Wyoming

A native of Rome, New York, Johnson grew up in Aurora, Colorado, and earned three letters as a quarterback at Wyoming, throwing for more than 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior in 1982.

McCullough left Indiana for Notre Dame last week.


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