Job Johnson Biography & Facts
James William Johnson (born July 16, 1943) is a former American football coach and sports analyst. Johnson served as a head football coach on the collegiate level from 1979 to 1988 and in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons. He is the first head football coach to win both a college football national championship and a Super Bowl, achieving the former with Miami and the latter with the Dallas Cowboys.
Johnson held his first head football coaching position at Oklahoma State before becoming Miami's head football coach in 1984 and guided the team to victory in the 1988 Orange Bowl. His collegiate success resulted in Johnson succeeding original Cowboys head coach Tom Landry in 1989, a position that saw him help rebuild the team back to winning form. Johnson's tenure from 1989 to 1993 culminated with the Cowboys winning consecutive Super Bowl titles in Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII, but conflict with owner Jerry Jones led to Johnson leaving after the second championship.
Following two years away from football, Johnson returned in 1996 to become the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, where he served until retiring after the 1999 season. Since his coaching retirement, Johnson has appeared as an analyst for Fox Sports and is one of the featured commentators of Fox NFL Sunday. He was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020.
Johnson attended high school at Thomas Jefferson High School (now known as Memorial High School) in Port Arthur, Texas. In high school he was a classmate of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Janis Joplin.Johnson played college football as a defensive lineman at the University of Arkansas between 1962 and 1964. He helped lead the Razorbacks to the national championship in 1964 when he was named to the All Southwest Conference team. Additionally, he was named to the Razorbacks’ All-Decade team of the 1960s, and was later inducted into Arkansas’ state athletic hall of fame in 1988, followed by the university's hall of fame in 1999.
During his time in Arkansas, he played with future Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Early coaching jobs
Johnson began as an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech University in 1965. During this time, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame was the starting quarterback, and Jimmy helped recruit high school quarterback Terry Bradshaw from nearby Shreveport, Louisiana. He then became an assistant coach at Picayune Memorial High School in Picayune, Mississippi, in 1966. In 1967, he was an assistant at Wichita State University, then in 1968 and 1969, he served under Johnny Majors at Iowa State University in Ames. In 1970, he moved on to another Big Eight Conference school to become a defensive line coach at the University of Oklahoma, working under head coach Chuck Fairbanks and alongside future rivals Barry Switzer and Jim Dickey.
In 1973, he returned to Arkansas, where he served as defensive coordinator through the 1976 season. There, he coached such players as Brison Manor and Dirt Winston. Johnson had hopes of being named head coach when Broyles retired, but was passed over for Lou Holtz. Holtz wanted to retain Johnson on his staff and offered him a position, but Jimmy decided to move on and amicably parted company with his alma mater.
Johnson became assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh under Jackie Sherrill in 1977 and 1978. There, he coached Randy Holloway, David Logan, Al Chesley, J. C. Wilson, Rickey Jackson, Jimbo Covert and Hugh Green, and was introduced to a Pitt alumnus and assistant coach Dave Wannstedt, who later teamed up with Johnson again at the University of Miami, the Cowboys, and the Dolphins.
In 1979, Jimmy Johnson got his first head coaching job, at Oklahoma State University. Johnson coached for five seasons at Oklahoma State, from 1979 to 1983. His tenure there is noteworthy for his successful rebuilding of an inconsistent program. In his final season, he led the Cowboys to an 8–4 record and a 24–14 victory over 20th-ranked Baylor in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl.
In 1984, when he was offered the head coaching job at the University of Miami, Johnson was unsure if he wanted to leave Stillwater. His good friend Larry Lacewell told Johnson that if he wanted to win a national championship and eventually coach in the NFL, he had to take the Miami job. Johnson soon after accepted the head coaching job at Miami.
Before taking the Miami job, Johnson interviewed for the head coaching job at Arkansas when Lou Holtz left following the 1983 season, then later found out that Ken Hatfield had already been hired. Upset that Frank Broyles (who by this time was the Arkansas athletic director) made no mention of this during the interview, Jimmy distanced himself from his alma mater. As payback for the snub, a home-and-home series was scheduled between Miami and Arkansas. In 1987, Miami gave Arkansas its worst home loss ever at the time, 51–7.
University of Miami
In 1984, Johnson was hired by the University of Miami to replace former coach Howard Schnellenberger who had won Miami's first national championship in 1983 and departed for the recently formed United States Football League. Johnson's hiring was met with an initial response of "Jimmy who?" by the fans and media. Johnson started with a shaky 8–5 record his first season, which included a game in which Johnson's Hurricanes blew a 31–0 halftime lead in a loss to Maryland with Frank Reich as its QB, and also included a 47–45 loss to Boston College immortalized by Doug Flutie's "Hail Mary" touchdown pass on the game's final play. But Johnson developed the Hurricanes into a football program that came to be known as "the Decade of Dominance". In his five years at Miami, Johnson compiled a 52–9 record, appeared in five New Year's Day bowl games, winning one national championship (1987) and losing one to the Penn State Nittany Lions (1986).
Johnson created a free-wheeling atmosphere where he allowed, and at times encouraged, his players to showboat, trash-talk, and run up the score. He also brought the modern 4–3 defense predicated on athletic upfield linemen to the forefront. The criticism they received from other teams caused the media to deem them the "Bad Boys of College Football", a moniker Johnson openly accepted.
Johnson's Hurricanes posted the school's first undefeated regular season in 1986, only to lose the Fiesta Bowl and the national championship to #2-ranked Penn State. The loss, along with losses in Miami's prior two bowl games, began to raise questions about whether Johnson was capable of winning major games. In the ensuing 1987 season, however, the Hurricanes went undefeated in the regular season yet again, and won the school's second national title by defeating Barry Switzer's Oklahoma Sooners for the third season in a row.
Johnson also created controversy by allowing the University of Miami to.... Discover the Job Johnson popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Job Johnson books.