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Brian Johnson Makes History with Gators

Gators football head coach Dan Mullen is shuffling the coaching staff. A new addition to the staff is making history. Mullen promoted quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson to be the Gators’ next offensive coordinator.

John Hevesy and Billy Gonzales split the O.C. role for the first three years Mullen has been running the ship at Florida. They will maintain their other positions with the team, but Johnson is now the sole man in charge.

Johnson said he sees the new opportunity as an exciting one.

From a historical standpoint, Johnson is the first Black offensive coordinator in Florida football history. According to the Associated Press, before Brian Johnson, there were just seven Black offensive coordinators in all of FBS football. This number does not include the four Black co-offensive coordinators in FBS.

While Johnson said he was not aware of this, he said it was something to be proud of.

Background of Brian Johnson

Johnson started his college career as a player at Utah. In 41 college games, Johnson threw 57 touchdowns and 7,838 passing yards. He also picked up 12 rushing touchdowns. Johnson is also a two-time Bowl MVP, including an MVP in Utah’s Sugar Bowl win against Alabama.

After going undrafted, Johnson returned to Utah as a coach. He became the youngest offensive coordinator in FBS at the age of 24. Johnson coached at Mississippi State from 2014 to 2016. There, he worked with Dan Mullen for the first time. After a year at Houston, Johnson joined Mullen at Florida as the quartebacks coach.

Accoding to the Florida Gators website, Johnson is considered to have developed the best QB unit since the Tim Tebow era. Johnson is responsible for being the one who helped prepare Kyle Trask for his current role. Since taking over as the starting QB for the Florida, Trask owns a completion percentage of 66.8 percent, passed for 2,901 yards and 25 touchdowns (plus four rushing touchdowns).

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football in 2019 and contributes to WRUF's Trending Now segments. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since January 2019.

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