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Coach Detail

Bruce Johnson

Title: Assistant Coach - Running Backs

Johnson worked for Freeze in a variety of roles while serving on Freeze's football staff at Ole Miss. He worked as a recruiting assistant/special teams quality control assistant (2012), assistant offensive line coach (2013-14), assistant tight ends coach (2015-17), offensive quality control assistant (2013-17), coordinator of recruiting development/academic liaison (2013-15) and senior player personnel analyst (2015-17).

Johnson helped the Rebels have a top 10 nationally ranked recruiting class for three-straight seasons (2013-15). Ole Miss had 25 players earn SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades and 121 players graduated during his time on staff in Oxford, Miss.

Under Freeze's leadership, Johnson helped Ole Miss to bowl games from 2012-15, including back-to-back New Year's Six bowl games (Sugar Bowl and Peach Bowl). The span included victories in the BBVA Compass, Music City and Sugar Bowl games.

Johnson spent over a decade preparing for his time at Ole Miss, starting with working on coaching staffs at Desert Vista High School (1998), Shadow Mountain High School (1999) and Phoenix College (2000)

After serving as running backs and tight ends coach at San Diego in 2001, Johnson spent four season on staff at Alabama State. He worked with the tight ends and tackles in 2002, running backs in 2003 and tight ends and tackles in 2004-05, while serving as assistant recruiting coordinator his last three years in Montgomery, Ala.

Johnson's final two stops before joining Freeze at Ole Miss were at Jackson State and Arkansas – Pine Bluff. He served as special teams coordinator and offensive line coach at Jackson State from 2006-09, before working as assistant offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Arkansas – Pine Bluff in 2010 and 2011.

Johnson played fullback at Arizona (1995-96) and Norfolk State (1997), while earning his bachelor's degree from Arizona State in 1999. He and his wife, Michelle, have three children: Jaidyn, Brayden and Aydin.

Flames Flashback: 2019 Year in Review
• Johnson's running backs played a vital role in Liberty finishing its first full season at the FBS level with an 8-5 record, including a win over Georgia Southern in the 2019 FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl.
• With the Cure Bowl victory, Liberty became the third team in NCAA history to win a bowl game during its first full season at the FBS level.
• Johnson had two of his running backs in 2019 named to the Phil Steele FBS Independent All-Conference team – senior Frankie Hickson and junior Joshua Mack.
• Hickson led the Flames in rushing in 2019 (1,041 yards and 12 touchdowns), becoming the fourth player in program history to record back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons.
• Hickson finished his career rushing for 2,898 yards and 29 touchdowns and was the program's all-time leader in career all-purpose yards (4,494).
• Mack, a former Maine running back who led all FCS rushers in 2017, gave the Flames a fierce running back combination, rushing for 792 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019.
• Liberty finished the 2019 season ranked No. 32 nationally in total offensive yards per game (439.4) and rushed for 150.5 yards per game and 25 touchdowns in 2019.

Johnson at a Glance
Coaching Experience:
2019-present – Liberty (RB)
2018 – Indiana (Asst. AD/On Campus Recruiting)
2012-17 – Ole Miss (QC, OL, TE, Recruiting)
2010-11 – Arkansas – Pine Bluff (Asst. OC, OL)
2006-09 – Jackson State (OL, Recruiting Coord.)
2002-05 – Alabama State (TE, OT, RB, Recruiting Coord.)
2001 – San Diego (RB)
2000 – Phoenix College (Asst. Coach)
1999 – Shadow Mountain HS (Asst. Coach)
1998 – Desert Vista HS (Asst. Coach)
Education: Bachelor's degree in history (Arizona State, '99)
Wife: Michelle
Children: Jaidyn, Brayden and Aydin
Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.