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Curtis Johnson (American football coach)

Curtis Johnson, Jr. (born November 5, 1961) is an American football coach who is currently the wide receivers coach for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He was the head coach at Tulane University from 2012 to 2015, a position he assumed in December 2011 after six seasons coaching wide receivers for the New Orleans Saints.

Curtis Johnson
New Orleans Saints
Position:Wide receivers coach
Personal information
Born: (1961-11-05) November 5, 1961 (age 58)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Career information
High school:Laplace (LA) St. Charles
Career history
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season:NCAA: 15–33 (.313)
Postseason:NCAA: 0–1 (.000)
Career:NCAA: 15–34 (.306)

Assistant coaching careerEdit

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 SaintsEdit

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]

Chicago BearsEdit

On February 15, 2016, Johnson was hired by the Bears as wide receivers coach to replace Mike Groh, who left for the same position with the Los Angeles Rams.[5] After the season, he turned down an offer to remain with the Bears and left the team on January 30, 2017.[6]

Head coaching careerEdit


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.[7]

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 and 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."[8]

Personal lifeEdit

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.[9] 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.[10] He and his wife Angel live in Harvey and have six children.[11] Johnson is a deacon at his church, and has travelled to schools and camps promoting academic success, hard work and faith.[12]

One of his sons, Curtis "Trey" Johnson III is a 2011 wide receiver for the University of Memphis.[13]

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
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) (2014–2015)
2014 Tulane 3–9 2–6 T–8th
2015 Tulane 3–9 1–7 6th (West)
Tulane: 15–34 11–22
Total: 15–34

Coaching treeEdit

Assistants under Curtis Johnson who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:


  1. ^ a b c d "Curtis Johnson". 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  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. Archived from the original on May 10, 2012.
  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. ^ Gantt, Darin (February 15, 2016). "Bears hiring former Tulane and Saints coach Curtis Johnson". Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  6. ^ Brad Biggs, "WRs coach Curtis Johnson becomes 3rd assistant to leave Bears staff", Chicago Tribune, January 30, 2017.
  7. ^ Tammy Nunez (December 5, 2011). "Tulane Green Wave gives new football coach a warm welcome". Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  8. ^ "Tulane fires football coach Curtis Johnson".
  9. ^ "SAINTS' COACH, CURTIS JOHNSON, TO BE HONORED WITH EXHIBIT". News. St. Charles Parish. Archived from the original on June 10, 2012. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
  10. ^ "Destrehan exhibit honors Saints coach". St. Charles Herald Guide. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  11. ^ Tammy Nunez (December 1, 2011). "New Orleans Saints assistant Curtis Johnson still in the running for Tulane head coaching job". Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  12. ^ Massenburg, Susan. "New Orleans Saints assistant coach lives full life in Harvey". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
  13. ^ "Player Bio: Curtis Johnson". Memphis Tigers Official Athletic Site. Archived from the original on May 19, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2011.

External linksEdit