Curtis Johnson (American football coach)

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Curtis Johnson
New Orleans Saints
Position: Senior wide receivers assistant
Personal information
Date of birth: (1961-11-05) November 5, 1961 (age 54)
Place of birth: New Orleans, Louisiana
Career information
High school: Laplace (LA) St. Charles
College: Idaho
Career history
As coach:
Head coaching record
Regular season: NCAA: 15–33 (.313)
Postseason: NCAA: 0–1 (.000)
Career: NCAA: 15–34 (.306)

Curtis Johnson, Jr. (born November 5, 1961) is an American football coach for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). Most recently he was the head coach at Tulane University, a position he assumed in December 2011 after six seasons coaching wide receivers for the New Orleans Saints. He was re-hired in 2016 by the Saints as an offensive assistant and the senior wide receivers assistant.

Assistant coaching career[edit]

After graduating from the University of Idaho, Johnson first became a wide receivers coach at Lewiston High School in Lewiston, Idaho before taking his first college assistant job for Idaho in 1987.[1] In the series of assistant jobs that followed, Johnson developed a reputation as an outstanding recruiter as well as position coach. At San Diego State, he recruited future Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk (like him, a native New Orleanian),[2] as well as wide receiver Darnay Scott.[1] After San Diego State, Johnson spent single seasons at Southern Methodist University, and at the University of California (where he coached future All-American Bobby Shaw, among others), before taking a position at Miami in 1996.[3]


Johnson spent the next decade at Miami. As part of a staff that went to nine bowl games and won the 2001 National Championship, Johnson coached Andre Johnson, Santana Moss, and Reggie Wayne.[1] He was also credited with recruiting standout safety Ed Reed, another native New Orleanian.[4]

New Orleans Saints[edit]

Johnson was a member of Sean Payton's original Saints coaching staff. In his time there, he coached wide receivers Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, and Lance Moore, among others. From 2006-11, his wideouts combined for 108 touchdown grabs and 35 performances with over 100 yards receiving.[1] He was part of the coaching staff for the team that won Super Bowl XLIV in the 2009 season.[4]

He was later re-hired by the Saints as a Senior Wide Receivers Assistant.

Head coaching career[edit]


On December 5, 2011, Johnson was named the new head coach of the Tulane Green Wave football team, replacing outgoing coach Bob Toledo. Johnson finished the NFL season with the Saints while simultaneously taking over the program at Tulane.[5]

On November 28, 2015, Johnson was relieved of his duties as Tulane's head coach. After beginning the 2013 season 6-2, Johnson would go on to lose 22 of his final 27 games against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents. He finished at Tulane with a 15-34 record through four full seasons. He compiled a 7-9 conference record in the C-USA (2012 & 2013), and a 3-13 conference record in the American Athletic Conference (2014 and 2015).

Upon Johnson's dismissal, Tulane Athletic Director Rick Dickson said "I want to thank CJ for his hard work and his dedication to rebuilding the Green Wave football program. His efforts were rewarded in 2013 when Tulane reached its first bowl in 11 years. Since then, however, the program has not progressed to the level that we aspire to." [6]

Personal life[edit]

Johnson was born in New Orleans and grew up in St. Rose, Louisiana, where his father was a St. Charles Parish councilman. He attended St. Charles Catholic High School in LaPlace, Louisiana. He was honored by his high school's community with an exhibit hosted by the St. Charles Museum and Historical Association and the River Road Historical Society in 2010.[7] After high school, at the University of Idaho, Johnson played college football, ran track and field, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education.[8] He and his wife Angel live in Harvey and have six children.[9] Johnson is a deacon at his church, and has travelled to schools and camps promoting academic success, hard work and faith.[10]

One of his sons, Curtis "Trey" Johnson III is a 2011 wide receiver for the University of Memphis.[11]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Tulane Green Wave (Conference USA) (2012–2013)
2012 Tulane 2–10 2–6 6th (West)
2013 Tulane 7–6 5–3 4th (West) L New Orleans
Tulane: 9–16 7-9
Tulane Green Wave (American Athletic Conference) (2014–present)
2014 Tulane 3–9 2–6 T–8th
2015 Tulane 3–9 1–7 6th (West)
Tulane: 15–34 11–22
Total: 15–34
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^ a b c d "Curtis Johnson". 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  2. ^ Scott Miller, "Air of Aztec Ways: SDSU Targets Progress in Passing Game", Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2001. ("As the primary recruiter of Marshall Faulk, San Diego State receivers' coach Curtis Johnson is getting more national publicity than ever. When ABC television ran a halftime segment on Faulk a couple of weeks ago, they also interviewed Johnson. Like Faulk, Johnson has been on ESPN and in Sports Illustrated.")
  3. ^ "Player Bio: Curtis Johnson -". Hurricane Sports Properties. 
  4. ^ a b "Wearing NFL and college championship rings, Curtis Johnson says Tulane will play for trophies", Associated Press in The Washington Post, December 5, 2011.
  5. ^ Tammy Nunez (December 5, 2011). "Tulane Green Wave gives new football coach a warm welcome". Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "SAINTS’ COACH, CURTIS JOHNSON, TO BE HONORED WITH EXHIBIT". News. St. Charles Parish. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Destrehan exhibit honors Saints coach". St. Charles Herald Guide. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Tammy Nunez (December 1, 2011). "New Orleans Saints assistant Curtis Johnson still in the running for Tulane head coaching job". Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  10. ^ Massenburg, Susan. "New Orleans Saints assistant coach lives full life in Harvey". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "Player Bio: Curtis Johnson". Memphis Tigers Official Athletic Site. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 

External links[edit]