Bill Johnson, a pro football coaching veteran that coached the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in both 2017 and 2018, enters his second year on the LSU staff in 2020. Johnson has won both a Super Bowl title (2009 with New Orleans Saints) and a CFP National Championship.
Johnson was named to his current role on the staff on Aug. 17, 2019.
In his first year with the Tigers in 2019, Johnson was instrumental in the continued development of the Tiger defensive front. Senior Rashard Lawrence was named second team All-SEC after recording 6.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Overall, LSU’s defensive line combined for 22 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks as the Tigers ranked No. 3 in the SEC in rushing defense, allowing 120.8 yards per game. LSU’s defensive line included first-time starter Tyler Shelvin at nose tackle, who emerged as one of the top defensive linemen in the SEC in 2019. Shelvin finished 2019 with 39 tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss. Defensive end Neil Farrell led all Tiger defensive linemen with 46 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks.
Johnson joined the LSU staff after serving as the defensive line coach for the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 and 2018. He helped the Rams reach the Super Bowl in February of 2019. Johnson’s NFL career spans 18 seasons with four organizations – Rams (2017-18), Saints (2009-16), Broncos (2007-08) and Falcons (2001-06).
While with the Rams, Johnson’s standout defensive lineman Aaron Donald was twice named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. Donald was also the NFL’s sack leader in 2018 with a league-record 20.5 a year ago. In 2017, Donald became the first player in Rams history to earn NFL Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first defensive tackle in the league to win the award since 1999.
Prior to joining the Rams, Johnson spent eight years with the New Orleans Saints where he was part of the franchise’s only Super Bowl win. Johnson coached the Saints defensive line, helping that group to numerous honors and records.
Under Johnson’s watch Cam Jordan (Saints), Rod Coleman (Falcons), and Patrick Kerney (Falcons) all earned All-Pro honors.
Prior to entering the NFL coaching ranks, Johnson spent over 20 years coaching the defensive line at the collegiate level, which included stops at Arkansas (2000, 1990-91), Texas A&M (1992-99), Louisiana Tech (1988-89), Miami (1987), McNeese State (1985-86) and Northwestern State (1980-84).
Johnson coached alongside Ed Orgeron at Northwestern State and McNeese State. The staff at McNeese State in 1985 also included current LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger.
While at Miami in 1987, Johnson worked under College Football Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson where the Hurricanes went 12-0 and claimed the national title that year.
Johnson is a 1980 graduate of Northwestern State, where he was a two-year starter at center for the Demons. Following his playing career from 1976-79, Johnson got his start in coaching with the Demons in 1980 as a graduate assistant.