After spending 12 seasons in a variety of roles on head coach Randy Edsall’s staff at Connecticut, Lyndon Johnson is in his third season at Maryland, where he oversees the outside linebackers.
Under Johnson’s tutelage this season, Marcus Whitfield ranked second on the team in sacks (9.0) and eighth in the ACC. The All-ACC performer also has racked up 15.5 TFL, which was eighth in the conference. After transitioning from safety, Matt Robinson has become a solid contributor on the outside for the Terps. Robinson finished third on the team in TFL (10.0) and ranked fourth on the team in tackles (73).
In 2012, Darin Drakeford tied for the team lead with sixth sacks, a total that ranked him in the top 10 in the conference. In 11 games during 2012 season, Drakeford totaled 49 tackles (27 solo), 9.5 tackles for loss, two passes broken up and two forced fumbles.
Last season the Maryland defensive unit ranked second in the ACC and 21st nationally in overall defense (336.8 ypg), second in the ACC and 26th nationally in run defense (129.3 ypg), third in ACC and 32nd nationally in pass defense (207.5 ypg) and sixth in the ACC in scoring (27.2 ppg).
The UConn graduate coached tight ends and special teams his first three seasons (1999-2001) with the Huskies. He became Edsall’s recruiting coordinator from 2002-05 before moving back to special teams for his final four seasons.
Johnson handled the outside-linebacker position throughout his final nine years in Storrs, Conn. Johnson had the top kick returner in the nation in 2010 in Nick Williams who averaged 35.3 yards per attempt and had two touchdowns. As a team the Huskies ranked third nationally in kickoff returns, bolstering a run to the Big East Championship and a berth in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
The Huskies were ninth in the FBS in kickoff returns in 2009 (25.8 yards per return) while setting a school record with three returns for touchdown, and Robert McClain ranked 18th nationally in punt returns (12.6 ypr).
UConn’s special teams also aided its run to the 2007 Big East Championship. The team returned two punts for touchdowns and also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. The season saw Tony Ciaravino score an even 100 points, a record for an UConn kicker, and punter Desi Cullen record a 40.7 yard average, fifth-best in UConn history. Cullen concluded his career in 2009 and had the career record for punting average with 41.1 yards per punt and set the single-season record at 42.8.
During the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Johnson coached linebacker Scott Lutrus to postseason honors. Lutrus was a first-team freshman All-America selection after the 2007 campaign and an All-Big East pick in 2008.
Johnson began his coaching career at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, Conn., where he spent four seasons (1993-96) including the final two as defensive coordinator.
He made his collegiate coaching debut at Sacred Heart in Bridgeport, Conn., where he served as defensive coordinator in 1997, before moving on to Fordham to coach the defensive line in 1998.
Johnson, a four-year letterwinner for UConn from 1989-1992, started all 33 games on the offensive line over his final three seasons. He served as team captain in 1991 and was named the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player that year. He was a second team All-Yankee Conference pick in 1989 and a second team All-ECAC selection in 1990.
A native of Norwalk, Conn., Johnson received his degree in sociology from UConn in 1992. He and his wife Cynthia have two sons, Taren and Trace.
The Johnson File
Date of Birth: Jan. 1, 1968
• Primary: Georgia, Northern Florida (Clay, Duval, Levy, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, St. John's and Flagler counties); Upstate New York