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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 7, 2014) – ETSU head football coach Carl Torbush announced Thursday that former Ohio State football and Baltimore Orioles strength and conditioning coach Allan Johnson has joined the Buccaneers’ coaching staff as an assistant coach in charge of strength training.
Johnson, who has spent the last three years at Northwestern University as the assistant director of sports performance for football, has more than 25 years of experience at the high school, collegiate and professional levels as a strength and conditioning coach. He spent 13 years with West Virginia and five years at Ohio State, coaching in 17 football and basketball postseason games, including helping the Mountaineers to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament and helping the Buckeyes reach three BCS National Championship games – which included winning a national title following the 2002 season.
“We hit a home run with hiring Allan Johnson as an assistant football coach in charge of strength training,” Torbush said. “His resume speaks for itself and he will be a great asset not only to our program, but to the university and the community. He comes to us with the highest of recommendations from some of college football’s most respected names.”
Johnson was the first strength and conditioning coach in the history of the Baltimore Orioles and one of the first five in all of Major League Baseball. A 2003 inductee into the Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame, Johnson was named the 2002 National Strength Coach of the Year and is a six-time recipient of the Big East Conference Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year award. In 2010, Johnson was elected into the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
“I am very excited and humbled by the opportunity to be part of the rebirth of ETSU football,” Johnson said. “The program, culture and championship staff that Coach Torbush is bringing together will be on a level to compete for championships. I want to thank Coach Torbush, Dr. Richard Sander and Lee Morrow for giving me this awesome opportunity to be part of a very special team at ETSU.”
Morrow, who is ETSU’s Director of Football Operations and himself spent 31 years as the program’s strength and conditioning coach, said Johnson is simply one of the top strength and conditioning coaches in the country.
“I am extremely pleased that Al has made the decision to be part of ETSU football,” Morrow said. “Simply stated, we cannot get anyone better to fill this spot right now. His background, his accomplishments, his personality, and his integrity are of the highest rating. I expect people to ask how we were able to secure his services.”
Throughout his career, Johnson has trained thousands of athletes, including 118 football players who have been drafted in the NFL, 25 men's and women's basketball players drafted in the NBA or WNBA, and 51 baseball players drafted to play professional baseball.
Johnson is a regular speaker at local, regional and national conferences and clinics regarding strength, speed and conditioning topics, as well as motivation, leadership and team-building. Johnson also serves as a consultant for Nike Football Clinics, High Performance Nutrition, Training & Conditioning Magazine (Editorial Board), Maxx Football and Alpha Dog Sports.
Johnson is certified through the National Strength & Conditioning Association, CSCS, and certified with the National Association of Speed and Explosion, NASE. He also is certified as a Master Strength Coach by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Association, Johnson was recognized as one of the first 10 Master Strength & Conditioning Coaches in the World, by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Association in 2002.
What others are saying about Coach Allan Johnson:
Jim Tressel, president at Youngstown State and former head football coach at Ohio State:
“Coach Al Johnson is the best of the best. His number one focus has always been the well-being of the student-athlete. Coach Johnson helped our players reach their full potential, on and off of the field of play. He truly is the definition of the ‘Master Strength Coach’.”
Don Nehlen, College Football Hall of Fame inductee and former head coach at West Virginia:
"Al was absolutely super for me. He was with us early in our time with the West Virginia program and he did a magnificent job. He is so good with the players when the coaches are not around, and in my opinion the most important coach a head coach can have is that strength coach, and I think East Tennessee State is getting a beauty of a coach in Al Johnson.”
Mike Gentry, Virginia Tech Associate Athletic Director for Athletic Performance:
"I have known Al Johnson for over 25 years. I regard him as a truly great football strength and conditioning coach with a track record of team success to support this statement. Al's teams under Coach Don Nehlen at West Virginia University were always big, strong, physical and successful. While at Ohio State, Al's teams played for the national championship several times and won it once. Al is well respected by his peers in the industry as evidenced by his tenure in elected leadership positions within the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa). I think the Buc players will both like and respect Al and that he will be a great fit at ETSU. Coach Torbush is assembling an all star staff, including Lee Morrow as Director of Football Operations, who is himself a Master Strength and Conditioning Coach."
David Lawson, Tennessee Director of Strength and Conditioning:
“I am excited for Al Johnson and his new position. Al has been a friend and mentor to me for over 20 years. He is a great strength coach who has a proven track record in training athletes in college and pro sports. He is a great motivator and knows what it takes to be successful in life and sports. He is an asset to any program because of his experience and knowledge.”