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Utah football: Brian Johnson leaving the Utes for Mississippi State

Published February 8, 2014 1:18 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

After being demoted from offensive coordinator to co-offensive coordinator to quarterbacks coach, Brian Johnson is looking to revive his coaching career with a longtime mentor.

Sources have confirmed that Johnson is leaving Utah to become a part of Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen's staff.

Mullen recruited Johnson to Utah and has remained one of Johnson's close confidants.

Johnson, Utah's winningest quarterback in history with a 26-7 record, became the youngest offensive coordinator in the Football Bowl Subdivision when coach Kyle Whittingham appointed the then 24-year-old to the position in 2011.

However, Johnson's time as a coach hasn't gone smoothly as Utah's offense has failed to be the dynamic force Whittingham envisioned. Johnson served as the co-offensive coordinator last season along with Dennis Erickson, then was demoted to quarterbacks coach when Whittingham hired Dave Christensen as Utah's new coordinator in December.

Mississippi State had an opening since offensive coordinator Les Koenning left to join Charlie Strong's staff at Texas. Mullen is 36-28 since he was hired as Mississippi State's coach in December 2008.

Johnson did not return messages left on his phone.