Posted by Chip Patterson
Utah announced the promotion of quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson to offensive coordinator, filling the void left by Norm Chow.
Head coach Kyle Whittingham issued a statement through the school on Thursday, as part of a staff restructure following National Signing Day
“After spending the past month conducting a national search for an offensive coordinator, it became very apparent that we had the best candidate for the job right here on our own staff,” said Whittingham in a prepared statement. “Brian is a leader and a special coaching talent, just as he was a special player, and he is the right person to lead our offense.”
Norm Chow left Utah after the 2011 season to accept the head coaching position at Hawaii. Johnson, who turns 25 on Feb. 16, joined the Utes' staff following a prolific on-field career for the program. The new offensive coordinator was 26-7 as a starting quarterback (2005-2008), earning 2008 MWC Offensive Player of the Year honors as he led Utah to a 13-0 record and 2009 Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama.
“I am excited that Coach Whittingham has given me this opportunity and I am prepared for the challenge,” said Johnson. “I’m looking forward to working with a great coaching staff and putting together a productive offense that will help us win a conference championship. I’ve had many good mentors as a player and a coach, including Dan Mullen, Andy Ludwig, Aaron Roderick and Norm Chow.”
Johnson will continue to coach the quarterbacks from his new position, while Roderick - wide receivers coach - will also serve as passing game coordinator. Dan Finn, former Utah graduate assistant, has been hired to coach the centers and guards while offensive line coach Tim Davis will concentrate on tackles and tight ends. Defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake will continue to serve as defensive coordinator and has been named assistant head coach.
After a rocky beginning to the 2011 season, that included an 0-4 start to Pac-12 play, the Utes won five of their final six games, finishing the season by overcoming a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to knock off Georgia Tech in overtime in the Sun Bowl.
Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.
Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook