Johnson confirmed Saturday that he will take over a Red Storm program that has been one of Baltimore City’s most competitive football teams under Jones, who is moving on to coach in Delaware.
“I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to get back to a school that has a winning tradition, following Dante Jones and Pete Pompey,” Johnson said. “There’s great support for the team and when you have a winning tradition, you seem to get the kids all the time, so this is a great opportunity to carry on that tradition.”
Jones, who said Saturday that he was on vacation and would talk later about his departure from Edmondson, is taking over the football program at Dover High School. A Dunbar graduate who played college football at Delaware State, Jones had been the Red Storm's coach since 2004, winning the state Class 2A championship in 2006.
The last two seasons, the Red Storm has reached the state Class 2A semifinals. Last fall, Edmondson finished 11-2 with the No. 11 ranking, ending its season in a 34-20 loss to Douglass of Prince George’s County. Its only other loss was 13-8 to Dunbar. This fall, the Red Storm will play in Class 1A.
Johnson, who left Patterson after the 2011 season of his own accord, said he met with the Red Storm players Friday and will start entering the team in summer 7-on-7 tournaments and begin registering juniors for one-day camps right away.
“You want to get in there as quicky as possible to retain the kids,” Johnson said. “Because, of course, when somebody leaves, you hear this player’s leaving to go here or another one might go somewhere else, but the kids are on board.”
Johnson, 40, spent last fall as the offensive coordinator at Mervo, but he said he was eager to head his own program again. He applied for other jobs, but wanted to have a teaching position within the school where he coached and he has one at Edmondson starting in the fall.
“That was a huge factor,” he said. “For me to be able to run an effective program, I have to be visible in the building and that’s particularly important in a city school.”
A Loch Raven graduate, Johnson has been teaching science in Baltimore City schools for 16 years, and after leaving Patterson, is teaching at a middle school, the Stadium School.
He’s eager to guide the Red Storm players on the field and in the classroom.
“The administrative team there, this is their first year and they’re doing dynamic things to ensure that Edmondson is going to be a place of academic learning first and foremost,” Johnson said. “I think things will go pretty smooth. I’ve worked with the principal, Karl Perry, before and he’s a great leader. He has a great vision for the school and we’ve talked extensively about that. He’s going to allow me and my staff to hit the ground running.”
At Patterson, where the Clippers played in the tough Class 4A North, Johnson led them to the regional title game twice.