First-year head coach talks about the state of the Green Wave and this weekend's opponent, UL-Lafayette
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11 Louisianians, including 9 area natives, highlight class; Wave add 10 on offense, 5 on defense and 1 athlete
A prep football fixture in New Orleans for the last decade, David Johnson enters his second season as the tight ends and running backs coach for the Green Wave in 2013.
A native New Orleanian, Johnson has coached in various capacities during his career at some of the top high school football programs in the state of Louisiana, including twice at nearby St. Augustine High School (2005/2009-11), O. Perry Walker High School (2000-05) and John F. Kennedy High School (1997-98).
Johnson also brings collegiate experience to the Green Wave staff. He coached at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, from 2005-09.
Johnson came to Tulane after a successful three-year tenure as the head coach/offensive coordinator and receivers coach at St. Augustine High School. Johnson coached the Purple Knights from 2009-11 and led the program to a co-district title in 2010 and to a district championship in 2011. He was named the 2011 District 10-4A Coach of the Year.
Among his pupils were Tyrann Mathieu, a Heisman Trophy finalist, first team All-America, the National and Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in 2011 and was drafted by the NFL's Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 draft.
Prior to SAHS, Johnson was the wide receivers/tight end/special teams (return) coach and recruiting coordinator at Millsaps College. During his time with the Majors, he helped the team to a Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference title in 2006 and tied for the championship in 2008. Millsaps recorded a 20-1 overall record in conference play from 2006-08 and the 2008 Majors completed the season ranked No. 3 in the nation.
Fifteen of Johnson's receivers earned all-conference honors over a four-year period. Among those receivers who Johnson played an influential role in helping was Eric McCarty, who completed his career as the school's all-time leader for receptions and tied the record for touchdowns scored. Chris Jackson went on to win a Grey Cup with the Calgary Stampede and he also coached Milton Collins, who also went on to play for Calgary.
Before that, Johnson began his first stint at St. Augustine High School as the passing coordinator and wide receiver/tight ends coach in 2005, but left to pursue the college opportunity as Millsaps College later that year.
From 2000-05, Johnson was the offensive coordinator and wide receivers/tight ends coach at O. Perry Walker, where he helped the team to the 2002 state finals, three consecutive district championships (2002-04) and coached seven receivers to 1,000-yard seasons. Among his pupils was future LSU Tiger and San Diego Charger receiver Craig Davis. A total of 18 players went on to play Division I college football, including 11 from the class of 2002.
Johnson began his prep career as the passing coordinator and wide receivers/tight ends coach at his Alma mater, John F. Kennedy High School, in 1997.
Johnson played college football at Nicholls State from 1990-95, where he earned honorable mention All-Southland Conference honors as a wide receiver and punt returner in 1993 and finished the `93 campaign ranked third all-time in yards per catch. He received honorable mention all-league accolades as a receiver in 1992.
He earned his bachelor's degree in general education from Nicholls State in 1995 and spent the 1999 season playing receiver for the New Orleans Thunder in the Regional Football League.
Johnson and his wife, Akeia, have three children: Jermaine (23), De'Von (17) and Karaaz (8).