Former GS coach Paul Johnson named to School Soccer Corridor of Fame | Technoscoob

Former Georgia Southern head coach Paul Johnson will be part of his former gamers Tracy Ham and Adrian Peterson within the School Soccer Corridor of Fame. 

Johnson was simply one among two coaches within the 2023 class, introduced Monday by the Nationwide Soccer Basis. 

“I’m simply honored, not only for me, however for everybody who was concerned in serving to me obtain this,” Johnson mentioned. “In my thoughts, it type of validates your profession, what you achieved over a timeframe at completely different locations. Actually, it wouldn’t have occurred with out some particular gamers and assistant coaches alongside the way in which.”  

Johnson was an assistant below Erk Russell and carried out the unfold possibility offense that helped the Eagles to 6 1-AA/FCS nationwide championships. Johnson got here again to Georgia Southern as head coach in 1996, profitable two of these six nationwide championships in 1999 and 2000. His groups gained at the least a share of the Southern Convention championship in all 5 seasons he led the Eagles.  

“Georgia Southern definitely launched my teaching profession,” Johnson mentioned. “I used to be teaching highschool and junior school, and Coach Russell requested me about approaching his workers. Again then there wasn’t some huge cash in it, and I informed my spouse Susan, we’ll give it until I get to be 30 and see the place it’s. By then I used to be the offensive coordinator at Hawaii, and it had all labored out.”  

A lot of the Eagles early success might be attributed to the unfold possibility Johnson carried out, which he tailor-made across the abilities of Ham, Georgia Southern’s record-setting quarterback.  

“We developed the fundamental offense, which I’ve used since then at Georgia Southern,” Johnson mentioned. “We have been lucky to have an excellent participant in Tracy Ham, who rewrote so many information. Then once I went again as head coach, we had so many guys like Greg Hill, J.R. Revere, Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson, simply so many nice gamers and a lot success. It was a particular place and launched my profession.”  

Johnson went on to have success at each Navy and Georgia Tech. He gained 5 Commander-in-Chief’s trophies in six seasons at Navy and took Georgia Tech to 9 bowl appearances, together with two Orange Bowls, and was named ACC Coach of the Yr thrice. Johnson completed his profession simply 10 wins shy of 200 with a profession mark of 190-100.  

Coming to Georgia Southern in 1983, Johnson quickly after was named offensive coordinator below Russell. Johnson says he realized lots below Coach Russell as an assistant, however his greatest recommendation got here not lengthy Johnson took over as head coach at Georgia Southern.  

“Once you get your first head teaching job, you wish to set it up like you will have seen everybody else,” Johnson mentioned. “After our first recreation, I used to be at observe and Coach Russell came visiting after he had been at Snooky’s and was watching us whereas sitting on his automobile. He walked as much as me a couple of minutes later and mentioned ‘What are you doing?’ I used to be operating backwards and forwards between drills watching every part and requested him ‘what do you imply, coach?’ 

“He mentioned ‘Recover from there and coach these quarterbacks and name the offense. That’s what you’re good at and that’s the reason you bought this job. Go assist the group.’ The following recreation we have been taking part in App State and our beginning quarterback Kenny Robinson broke his hand on the primary play and we needed to put Greg Hill in. I informed the blokes, I bought it. From that time on, I referred to as each play the entire time I used to be the top coach and did the offensive gameplan.”  

Johnson went 62-10 in his 5 seasons at Georgia Southern and with all his accomplishments and success he says the Eagles loss within the 1998 championship recreation is one he would like to have again.  

“Probably one of the best group I ever coached was the 1998 group at Georgia Southern,” he mentioned. “We averaged over 50 factors per recreation and went to the championship with a 14-0 report. We bought within the championship and turned the ball over seven occasions and it was only a fluke. We scored each time we had the ball and didn’t flip it over, and that one sticks in my thoughts as one I’d wish to have one other shot at.”  

Johnson’s identify has come up loads of occasions on message boards as a doable coach or athletic director at Georgia Southern and whereas he’s flattered, Johnson says he by no means got here near entertaining both function.  

“I’d reasonably stick my hand in a hearth than be an athletic director,” he mentioned. “It’s one thing I assumed throughout my teaching days, as a result of I take pleasure in all sports activities, and thought it might be enjoyable. When you see how the sausage is made, although, and the inside workings, that could be a powerful job. I feel Georgia Southern has a very good one there proper now. He’s actually sharp and hopefully they’ll maintain onto him for some time.”  

As for coming again to Georgia Southern as head soccer coach? 

“It might be like marrying the identical ladies twice,” Johnson mentioned. “I had somebody inform me how a lot they revere me down in Statesboro and so they’d construct me a statue if I got here again. I informed him yeah, and so they’d tear it down the primary recreation we misplaced. I liked my time in Statesboro, and I informed my spouse that’s a spot I’d love to remain a part of the 12 months, if it was a little bit hotter within the winter. I actually liked the individuals down there and we had an excellent golf group over at Forest Heights. It’s a particular place.”  

The School Soccer Corridor of Fame Class of 2023 shall be formally inducted on Dec. 5 on the sixty fifth NFF Annual Awards Dinner in Las Vegas. His enshrinement shall be commemorated on the School Soccer Corridor of Fame, situated in downtown Atlanta.  

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