Dec. 7, 2013
New Orleans - - Tulane University Director of Athletics Rick Dickson announced today that head football coach Curtis Johnson has received a three-year contract extension, which will keep him on the sidelines with the Green Wave through the 2020 season.
Johnson was tabbed as the 39th head football coach in school history on December 5, 2011. Johnson made the short trip to the Tulane campus after spending the previous six seasons (2006-2011) as the wide receivers coach for the New Orleans Saints.
In less than two seasons, Johnson has transformed Tulane into a postseason team for the first time in 11 years and features a roster that includes many national and all-conference performers, as well as, numerous all-academic standouts.
"I'm very pleased to announce an extension through 2020 for Coach Johnson," Dickson said. "He and his staff have quickly established a winning culture within the Tulane cornerstones of excellence in scholarship, sport and service. We look forward to working together through this new era for Tulane football, as we go forward into our bowl game, our new conference and our new stadium."
"(Scott) Cowen and Rick Dickson have both been fantastic to me and this program and I believe this is the best opportunity in the world," Johnson said. "I love being the head coach at Tulane and our assistant coaches really feel good about what we are doing and the direction we are headed. I am committed to Tulane and our administration is committed to our program and this extension is a great example of that promise. This is extension will allow us to take this program to new heights."
After recording a 2-10 record in his rookie season at Tulane in 2012, Johnson has engineered one of the biggest turnarounds in college football in 2013. He led the Green Wave to a 7-5 overall record, the most wins since 2002, a Conference USA mark of 5-3, the most league wins since 1998, a 5-1 home record and more importantly to the school's 11th bowl appearance with a berth in the 2013 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
Along the way, three players received national player of the week honors, four players were named to national watch lists and six players earned C-USA Player of the Week honors on eight occasions. Off the field, Tulane was one of four schools to receive the prestigious AFCA Academic Achievement Award and junior safety Sam Scofield was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Second Team and was also named to the C-USA All-Academic Football Team.
A New Orleans native and graduate of St. Charles High School, Johnson, 52, has nearly 30 years of coaching experience from both the collegiate and professional levels and was a part of an NFL Championship with the Saints and a Bowl Championship Series National Championship with the University of Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes in 2001.
In his first season as the head coach of the Green Wave, two players received All-America honors, including Cairo Santos, who became just the fifth player in school history, and the first since 1941, to earn consensus first team All-America honors and was also the winner of the prestigious Lou Groza Award, which is presented to the nation's top place kicker, and Darion Monroe received honorable mention freshman All-America honors from College Football News.
Johnson's rookie campaign also saw three players named to the All C-USA First Team, including Santos, receiver Ryan Grant and deep snapper Billy Johnson, while a total of nine players received All C-USA honors. Senior quarterback Ryan Griffin quickly benefitted from Johnson's pro-style offense and signed as a free agent with the hometown Saints shortly after the 2013 NFL Draft concluded.
Off the field, quarterback Ryan Griffin and Scofield were each named to the C-USA All-Academic Football Team, while 29 of his football student-athletes were named to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll and six players received a C-USA Academic Medal for sporting a 3.75 grade-point-average or higher.