BATON ROUGE — Ed Orgeron has turned to one of his former college coaches to help him lead LSU’s defensive line.
The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman first reported on Thursday that LSU is hiring the longtime NFL defensive line coach Bill Johnson to a one-year deal. The 64-year-old Monroe native has spent 17 seasons (2001-2018) as a defensive line coach in the NFL, including serving as the New Orleans Saints defensive line coach from 2009-16 and winning a Super Bowl during that time.
Following a four-year playing career at Northwestern State, Johnson’s coaching career began in 1980 as a grad assistant with the Demons. After two years as a grad assistant, Johnson was promoted to defensive ends coach and linebackers coach from 1982-84.
Johnson’s tenure in Natchitoches coincided with Oregeron’s time as a player for the Demons.
Johnson has also coached at McNeese State (1985-86), Louisiana Tech (1988-89) and coached the defensive lines of the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos and most recently Los Angeles Rams.
Bill Johnson will replace another Johnson — Dennis Johnson.
LSU’s full-time defensive line coach Dennis Johnson is recovering from tearing his patellar tendons after playing pick-up basketball back in July. The injuries, and recovery, have regulated him to being in a wheelchair and thus promoting the decision to hire Bill Johnson.
Dennis Johnson will remain on staff and still work in the film room and as an analyst.
LSU opens the 2019 season on Saturday, August 31st at home inside Tiger Stadium against Georgia Southern of the Sun Belt Conference.