Former CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player Jovon Johnson hired as head coach of Pennsylvania high school

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The first defensive back to ever be named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player is ready to impart that knowledge on to the next generation.

Early Friday morning, two-time CFL All-Star Jovon Johnson announced on Twitter that he had been hired as the head coach of North East High School in North East Township, just outside of Erie, Pennsylvania.

“As of February 4, 2022 I am the new Head Football Coach at North East High School! With great humility I am humbled to join the North East community and lead these young men to incredible heights on their journey. As with anything we got work to do! Stay tuned!”

The North East School board voted to approve the hire on Thursday.

In all, Johnson played 12 seasons with Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Saskatchewan and was a two-time CFL All-Star (2009, 2011) and a five-time East Division all-star (2009 -2012, 2015).

His career-defining season came with the Bombers in 2011. That season, Johnson was was named the teams’ Most Outstanding Player, Most Outstanding Defensive Player and Most Outstanding Special Teams Player. He would go on to win league honours as Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

The Erie, Pennsylvania native finished his career with 564 defensive tackles, 10 special teams tackles, eight sacks, 35 interceptions, eight touchdowns and 10 forced fumbles. Johnson is the Bombers’ all-time leader in punt return yards with 2,933.

Since retiring from the CFL, Johnson has spent two years as defensive coordinator at Defiance College in Ohio.