Dec. 5, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane Director of Athletics Rick Dickson announced today the appointment of New Orleans Saints receivers coach Curtis Johnson as the Green Wave's new head football coach at a news conference at the James W. Wilson Jr., Center.
A New Orleans native and graduate of St. Charles High School, Johnson becomes the 39th head coach in school history. He brings over 25 years of coaching experience from both the collegiate and professional level to the Green Wave and has been a part of an NFL Championship with the New Orleans Saints and an NCAA National Championship with the University of Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes.
"Coach Johnson has a proven track record at the collegiate and professional levels," said Tulane President Scott Cowen. "His Saints Super Bowl ring and national championship at the University of Miami are witness to the quality of programs that he has played an instrumental part in taking to the highest levels of achievement. Finally, he's a New Orleanian with an outstanding record as a recruiter with a reputation as a great developer, motivator and leader of men. I am confident he will be highly successful in building a culture and a sustained record of winning."
Johnson, 50, makes the short trip to the Tulane campus after spending the last five seasons (2006-2011) as the wide receivers coach for the New Orleans Saints. During his time with the Saints, he and his electrifying receiving corps helped the franchise to its first NFL title in 2009 and New Orleans has made playoff appearances in three of his five seasons.
"After conducting an extensive, thorough national search, we consistently gravitated to someone close to home that best fit our profile," Dickson said. "Curtis Johnson is a man of impeccable character and integrity. He has demonstrated a remarkable knack to evaluate, recruit and develop talented young men to their maximum capacity as both student-athletes and professionals at the highest level. He is a leader, motivator and effective teacher, who diligently strives for excellence. His relentless will to win makes him the right man for Tulane."
"Today is a dream come true for me," Johnson said. "I would like to thank Scott Cowen and Rick Dickson for entrusting me with this wonderful opportunity. I am truly excited to be Tulane's head coach. "As a New Orleanian, I grew up watching the Green Wave and have always wanted to be a part of their football program. It is a true honor to work at such a prestigious academic university and I look forward to building the football program into a consistent winner and annual bowl participant. I want to win championships and compete for national titles and I will work tirelessly to make this program into a perennial contender."
Over the last five and half seasons, Johnson has worked with both veteran and young wide receivers, with all benefitting from his guidance and high-energy teaching style. Among the players who have continued to improve under his watch through their own dedication and his tutelage are Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem and Lance Moore.
Johnson boasts a list of prominent pupils that very few coaches at any level can match. While specializing with wide receiver development, the group of standouts under his direction while at University of Miami (Fla.) and his prior stop at San Diego State includes some of the top wide receivers over the last decade, including NFL first-round picks Andre Johnson, Santana Moss, fellow New Orleans native Reggie Wayne and Yatil Green.
At Miami (Fla.), Johnson was part of a staff that went to nine bowl games and won the 2001 National Championship. He polished the skills of at least one All-Big East performer each season from 1996-2005, including Johnson - the third overall pick by Houston in 2003 - and Moss, who became the Hurricanes' all-time leader in receiving yardage before making the Pro Bowl for the Washington Redskins. Wayne departed ranked first in school history in catches is a five time Pro Bowl performer for the Indianapolis Colts.
In his five-year stint at San Diego State (1989-93) Johnson landed some of the school's biggest recruits, including 2000 NFL MVP and fellow New Orleans native Marshall Faulk, who was recently inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, as well as wide receiver Darnay Scott, who completed his eight-year NFL career with 408 grabs and 37 touchdowns. Each year Johnson was with the Aztecs, the school had an all-conference performer at wide receiver.
Johnson began his coaching career as a receivers coach at Lewiston (Idaho) High School in 1984, serving for three seasons before holding a similar position at the University of Idaho. He spent 1987 and 1988 at the school before becoming receivers coach at San Diego State. His next stop was at Southern Methodist in 1994 before becoming wide receivers coach in 1995 at the University of California-Berkeley.
Johnson attended the University of Idaho and received his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1985. He was a four-year starter for the Vandals and an All-Big Sky Conference selection.
Johnson and his wife, Angel, have six children, Janene, Kiejon, Curtis III, and Aaron, Angele and Justin. Curtis III is a junior receiver on the University of Memphis football team.
Season tickets for the 2012 football season are now on sale and renewals will be mailed this week to all 2011 season ticket holders. Rutgers, Ole Miss, ULM and four (4) C-USA matchups highlight this year's home schedule. Season ticket prices are $210 for sideline seats, $110 for adult end zone, $60 for youth end zone and $280 for the Family 4 Pack (2 adult and 2 youth tickets). For more information or to purchase your seat today contact the Tulane ticket office at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or online at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.