Ellis Johnson: 'You know what? This is a pretty important job'
Posted by: Josh Kendall on Thursday January 10, 2013
Posted by: Josh Kendall on January 10, 2013
Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson is a different coach at 61 than he was at 35. Now, some of his former players are 35.
"As these guys come back and they are 35 years old and have two kids, you look back at some of the things you said to them and say, 'You know what? This is a pretty important job,'" Johnson told Auburn247.com "I think that is probably the biggest thing that has changed over the years is I understand more now than I did as a young coach that you have an obligation to do more than teach them how to play the game."
The players themselves haven't changed much, Johnson said.
"You can be tough on them," he said. "You have to be able to tell them no sometimes. There is a place for discipline. There is a place for punishment. But there always has to be that connection and that respect for human dignity. The way you handle young people is extremely important. I believe you are going to be held accountable when it's all over."
Johnson joined the Tigers staff after one year as Southern Miss' head coach.
"You take an opportunity and work so hard and are sort of absorbed in that situation," Johnson says. "Next thing you know, you get through that three, five or eight years and you are on another journey. You just kind of keep moving forward. Some experiences are pleasant and some unpleasant, but it's always about putting it in the past and moving forward."
Josh Kendall is a staff writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered the SEC for more than 15 years for papers such as the Athens Banner-Herald, Macon Telegraph, and The State. He’s the father of two boys who he’s hoping don’t inherit his wide receiver frame and offensive guard feet. Follow @EyeOnCoaches on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org