(official OSU press release)
Ohio native returns to Columbus and Ohio State where he previously coached five seasons
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Taver Johnson, a 23-year coaching veteran with prior positions in the Big Ten Conference, the SEC and the National Football League, has joined coach Urban Meyer’s staff as cornerbacks coach, Meyer announced today. Additional responsibilities for Johnson may be announced at a later date.
“I am really pleased to have Taver Johnson join our coaching staff,” Meyer said. “I’ve known Taver for a long time, going back to our days at Notre Dame, and I think he is a terrific coach and person. He’ll do an excellent job coaching our cornerbacks and mentoring the young men in our program.”
Johnson, who is a native of Cincinnati, comes home to Ohio after spending the 2017 season working as defensive coordinator at Temple University.
He will be coaching at Ohio State for a second time. He was cornerbacks coach for four seasons under Jim Tressel (2007-10) and for the 2011 season under Luke Fickell. He left Ohio State after the 2011 season to become assistant head coach and linebackers coach at the University of Arkansas. He was elevated to interim head coach that spring and was coach of the Razorback defensive backs for the 2013 season.
Johnson was a standout football player at Wittenberg, a two-time Division III All-American and North Coast Athletic Conference defensive player of the year in 1992 and 1993.
He began his coaching career at his alma mater in 1994 and spent two seasons coaching there before a three-year tenure at Millikin (Ill.) where he coached linebackers and served as defensive coordinator in 1998.
A one-year graduate assistantship brought Johnson to Notre Dame in 1999, where he worked with Meyer. Four seasons at Miami of Ohio as linebackers coach followed before one season of coaching special teams with the Cleveland Browns. He returned to Miami for 2005-06 and then joined Tressel’s staff at Ohio State in March of 2007.
Johnson coached three All-Americans at Ohio State: cornerbacks Malcolm Jenkins, who also won the Thorpe Award in 2008 as the nation’s outstanding defensive back, and Chimdi Chekwa, and safety Kurt Coleman. All three players were selected in the NFL Draft. Jenkins just won his second Super Bowl two weeks ago with Philadelphia and is a nine-year NFL veteran. Coleman is with the Carolina Panthers and he, too, just completed his ninth year in the league.
Prior to coaching at Temple, Johnson was on former Ohio State assistant coach Darrell Hazell’s staff at Purdue for three seasons, from 2014-16, coaching the defensive backs.
Johnson received his degree in business administration from Wittenberg in 1994. He and his wife, Sharday, have a son, Tyree, and a daughter, Brooklynn.