Texas hires Anthony Johnson as running backs coach

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Former Longhorn Anthony Johnson will be the running backs coach for the Longhorns, Texas athletics announced Saturday.

Johnson played at running back at Texas from 2001-05 and has been coaching ever since, most recently as the co-offensive coordinator at Toledo. He replaces Tommie Robinson, who left in January for USC.

“There’s no way I could put into words how excited I am about the opportunity to come back to Texas and be the running backs coach,” Johnson said in a statement. “I grew up a Longhorn fan, played at Texas and bleed orange through and through.”

Head coach Charlie Strong said Johnson adds collegiate experience to the coaching staff and likes his passion for the game and the university.  

“Our entire staff thought that Anthony was a perfect fit to coach our running backs,” Strong said. “He’s a tremendous young coach with great energy and enthusiasm.”

Under Johnson, Toledo’s offense led the Mid-American conference in rushing, ranking 12th in the country in 2014 (256.4 ypg), and 27th in 2015 (207.9 ypg). Johnson is hoping to bring the same level of production to Texas.

“I’ve obviously been watching the program from afar for years, and I have great admiration for Coach Strong,” Johnson said. “After spending some time in Austin with him and his staff recently, you can really feel the energy of what’s going on at Texas. I know there are big things in the future for Texas football, and I can’t wait to get down there and be a part of it.”

The Longhorns still have two holes to fill on the coaching staff after defensive backs coach Chris Vaughn was not retained by Texas and wide receivers coach Jay Norvell left for Arizona State on Friday.