After spending 12 seasons in a variety of roles on head coach Randy Edsall's staff at Connecticut, Lyndon Johnson is in his fourth season at Maryland and first as assistant head coach after being named to the position this past offseason. Johnson also oversees the outside linebackers.
With Johnson’s guidance, Matt Robinson made a smooth transition from safety to outside linebacker last season. In his first season in the position, Robinson ranked fourth on the squad with 73 tackles including 10 tackles for loss, which was the third-highest total on the team. Robinson collected ACC Linebacker of the Week honors following Maryland’s win at NC State in the regular season finale after totaling a career-best 17 tackles.
On the other side of the field, honorable mention All-ACC selection Marcus Whitfield developed into a pass-rushing force registering 15.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks, which ranked eighth in the ACC. Whitfield set a single-game career high for sacks at Connecticut registering three to earn him ACC Linebacker of the Week honors.
Robinson and Whitfield were key pieces of a Terrapin defense that tied for third in the ACC in sacks (37) and that ranked eighth nationally averaging 7.8 TFLs per game.
Under Johnson’s watch in 2012, Darin Drakeford tied for the team lead with six sacks, a total that ranked him in the top 10 in the conference. In 11 games during the 2012 season, Drakeford totaled 49 tackles (27 solo), 9.5 tackles for loss, two passes broken up and two forced fumbles.
That 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 defense (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 a 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
University of Connecticut
• Primary: Maryland, Georgia, Northern Virginia, Upstate New York