(02.17.17 @ 10:15 a.m. ET): So I guess Michael Johnson will be taking his services elsewhere. Just days after reporting that Michigan would hire Johnson to be an assistant under head coach Jim Harbaugh, Johnson will reportedly be coaching at the University of Oregon in 2017.
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) February 17, 2017
This comes with a lot of added wrinkles. Johnson was originally going to be just an off-field staffer for the Wolverines until April when the NCAA was going to pass a proposal of allowing teams to carry ten on-field assistant coaches. However, less than 24 hours after the news of Johnson reportedly being hired by Michigan, the NCAA amended the proposal to have the rule put into effect for January of 2018.
Also in April, the NCAA will be voting on whether or not schools can hire “the high school coaches of prospective student-athletes in non-football jobs within a two-year window prior to their enrollment.”
And if that wasn’t enough drama, this news of Johnson reportedly going to Oregon comes just a day after Harbaugh and radio personality Paul Finebaum called out the Michigan head coach. Finebaum accused Harbaugh of cheating, citing that the hire of Johnson would be only to help land the commit of Johnson’s son, 4-star QB Michael Johnson Jr. from the Class of 2019.
Harbaugh fired back on Twitter and referred Finebaum to a different name. Whether it was intentional or not remains a mystery.
Pete Finebaum, the unabashed SEC water carrier, really needs to get his facts straight. #AlternativeFacts
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 17, 2017
(02.13.17 @ 5:30 p.m. ET): The University of Michigan made a new hire on Monday, bringing in Michael Johnson as an assistant under head coach Jim Harbaugh. He most recently served as head coach at The King’s Academy, a prep school in Sunnyvale, CA.
Head football coach Michael Johnson has resigned and is taking a position on staff at the University of Michigan. Good luck coach!! #GoBlue
— TKA Athletics (@TKA_Athletics) February 13, 2017
Johnson has been an offensive head coach (OC, QB coach, WR coach) for 20+ years. He spent his first three seasons (1997-99) with Oregon State before spending a decade plus as a coach in the NFL for four different teams, including one season as the QB coach (2000) when Jim Harbaugh was playing for the San Diego Chargers. He went back to college in 2011, serving as the offensive coordinator at UCLA and even was the interim head coach for one game following the firing of then coach Rick Neuheisel. Johnson since then had been the head coach at The King’s Academy since 2014.
Coincidently, according to 247Sports, Johnson’s son Michael Johnson Jr. is a four-star quarterback at TKA, Class of 2019, and currently has offers from several schools, including Florida State, Louisville, Arizona, California and Mississippi State. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds with a 4.68 second 40-yard dash, he’s the No. 1 ranked player at his position in the nation.