By Rob Kiser
Former Piqua High School and University of Dayton standout Kevin Johns understands what comes with the coaching profession.
And after one year as Western Michigan’s offensive coordinator, Johns is ready for his next journey — and return to one of college football’s power conferences.
Johns was recently hired as Texas Tech’s offensive coordinator, moving to the Big 12 conference.
“I just felt like it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Johns said about joining Kliff Kingsbury’s staff. “I found out about it through networking. I think coach Kingsbury was looking for someone outside the normal coaching group for the position. He has a great program and I am excited to be part of his staff.”
After playing on some very successful teams at Piqua, Johns guided the University of Dayton to a 20-1 record in his two seasons as coach there.
After getting a bachelor’s degree from Dayton and master’s from Northwestern, Johns began his coaching career at Richmond in the 2002-03 seasons.
He then coached from 2004-10 at Northwestern, holding various titles on the offensive staff.
Johns then moved on to Indiana, where the staff took a program that was 1-11 the year before they arrived to being a consistent winner and going to back-to-back bowl games.
When Johns got caught up in Kevin Wilson losing his job at Indiana, he landed at Western Michigan a year ago.
And while making another move is tough — Johns and his wife Krista — along with his sons Logan and Tyler (twins) and Carter enjoyed their year in Michigan, he knew it was a move he had to make.
“You don’t like to move, but sometimes that is the way it is in this professions,” Johns said. “It is tough on the family. My wife and kids loved Michigan. I met a lot of great people during my time at Western Michigan. And that program is in great shape with Tim Lester as head coach.”
And Kingsbury — entering his fifth season as the Red Raiders head coach — is a big part of what drew Johns to the program.
“They have always had a great passing offense,” Johns said. “What I am going to do is try to take some of the things from Indiana and Western Michigan and try to create a little more balance with the running game.”
And now is a busy time Johns.
Recruiting is going on for next season — as well as spring practices starting in two weeks.
“I am going to meet with all the offensive coaches and go over everything we want to do,” he said.
And anytime you are in you first year with a program, the time in the spring becomes critical.
“I think so,” Johns said. “Whether it is in meetings or on the field, it is critical to take advantage of every second you have with the players and coaches.”
And he looks forward to the challenge of playing in the Big 12.
“It is great to be back at this level (of college football),” Johns said. “Coach Kingsbury has done an amazing job. I just want to help continue that and find a way to get the team to the next level.”
Which Johns always seems to do at every stop in an amazing coaching journey.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.