Former CFL award-winner Jovon Johnson joins Gannon University coaching staff

Photo: CP/Trevor Hagan

Gannon University has hired former CFL defensive back Jovon Johnson as their defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator.

“Jovon will be a great addition to our staff,” said head coach Erik Raeburn in a statement. “He is a local guy and had an amazing playing career at the college and pro level. He has coaching experience at both the high school and college level. I know his experience will benefit our players tremendously.”

The 40-year-old played 12 seasons in the CFL as a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Ottawa Redblacks, Montreal Alouettes, and Saskatchewan Roughriders, recording 564 defensive tackles, 10 special teams tackles, 35 interceptions, eight sacks, 10 forced fumbles, and eight touchdowns.

The two-time CFL all-star and a five-time East Division all-star was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2011 when he helped the Blue Bombers reach the 99th Grey Cup against the B.C. Lions. He remains the only defensive back in CFL history to win the award.

Johnson spent the last two seasons serving as the head coach of North East High School in North East, Penn. His team finished 8-3 this past season, qualifying for the playoffs. He has also previously served as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Defiance College in Ohio.

Gannon University is a private school located in Johnson’s hometown of Erie, Penn. and competes at the Division II level in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. The school was attended by defensive lineman Randy Colling, who was a first-round pick of the Calgary Stampeders in the 2017 CFL Draft.