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Georgia's Johnson leaving for West Virginia job

POSTED: January 27, 2008 5:05 a.m.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - The list of former West Virginia players hired by new coach Bill Stewart continues.

Stewart announced Wednesday that David Johnson has been hired as offensive line coach. Johnson spent the past seven seasons as tight ends coach at Georgia.

Johnson is the fourth former WVU player to be hired by Stewart. A Pittsburgh native, Johnson lettered for the Mountaineers from 1979 to 1982.

"The reasons that I am coming to West Virginia are the same reasons that I went there as a student-athlete years ago," Johnson said. "The university is an outstanding institution with a tremendous amount of potential, both academically and athletically. Bill Stewart is a man of high integrity as was (former WVU coach) Frank Cignetti, who I played for years ago. Both are quality leaders who have tremendous vision and the ability to coach football."

Johnson was recruiting coordinator and coached tight ends and offensive tackles at Marshall from 1997 to 2000 before joining Georgia.

Three of Johnson's tight ends at Georgia are in the NFL — Randy McMichael of the St. Louis Rams, Ben Watson of the New England Patriots, and Leonard Pope of the Arizona Cardinals.

"This is a bittersweet day in some respects. Dave Johnson was part of our original staff here at Georgia and he and his family have been a blessing to our program. At the same time, we're excited for the opportunity he has in returning to his alma mater," said Georgia coach Mark Richt.

Stewart, who still has two coaching vacancies to fill, was named interim coach after Rich Rodriguez left for Michigan last month. Stewart won the job full time the day after the Mountaineers beat Oklahoma in the Jan. 2 Fiesta Bowl.



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