Former Utah Quarterback Brian Johnson On Enjoying ‘Where His Feet Are’

Apr 3, 2023, 1:20 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – It’s been 15 years since Brian Johnson shocked the college football world, leading an undefeated Utah football team over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl.

Johnson hasn’t stopped making waves in football since, either.

Kyle Whittingham hired Johnson has the quarterbacks coach for the Utes in 2010 and quickly promoted him to offensive coordinator in 2012 at the age of 25. While things ultimately didn’t work out long term with the Utes, it is safe to say Johnson’s coaching career launched from there moving on to successful stops at Mississippi State, Florida, and now with the Philadelphia Eagles as their Offensive Coordinator at the age of 36.

No matter where Johnson has been though, he says he’s always been mindful of enjoying where his feet are at.

Brian Johnson From Sugar Bowls To Super Bowls

Johnson spent nearly 10 years of his 13-year coaching career in college before making the jump to the NFL back in 2021. For the talented coach and former quarterback, that decision really came down to a dream he’s had as a child that he wasn’t able to fulfill as a player but is seeing success as a coach- making an impact at the highest level of football.

“There is a challenge of being at the highest level of football,” Johnson said. “You grow up as a kid watching guys play on Sunday and dream about being in that league in some shape or form. For me, it was really, really exciting to get a chance to fulfill that dream.”

In Johnson’s short time as a coach in the pros he’s already made it to a Super Bowl, though the result wasn’t quite what the Eagles wanted. Johnson says all that does is make them want to work hard to get back and try again.

“It’s football’s biggest stage,” Johnson said. “The two weeks leading up to it we had a lot of attention around, obviously, around the game, around the matchup and so many different storylines. Anytime you work that hard and you see your hard work pay off with all of the great players we had- for it not to end the way you wanted it to is obviously disappointing, but I think it leaves a burning desire to get back.”

From a disappointing injury in 2007 to a magical undefeated season in 2008 to the ups and downs of finding his way as a football coach, Johnson says the most important thing he’s learned is to enjoy the current moment and situation you are in. Everything else, including “climbing the ladder” will take care of itself from there.

“What I’ve learned in this profession- I think this is my 13th year in coaching is to be where your feet are,” Johnson said. “You try to do the best job you can in the current role that you are in. The rest of that stuff takes care of itself. I really believe that. If you can put yourself in that moment and be the best you can be and worry about helping your players succeed to the best of their abilities- the other stuff comes with that.”

It’s Not A Football Process, It’s A Life Process

Johnson’s time at Utah was certainly prolific and impactful on the field, but he says what he learned from Urban Meyer, Kyle Whittingham, and Andy Ludwig has been invaluable in every facet of his life and something he’s tried to pass on at every stop he’s made.

“I think it set a great foundation- I’ve learned so much about the game not only from coach Whitt, but coach Lud,” Johnson said. “The stuff they would say 15 years ago, 16 years ago- you see the reasoning behind it and you see it come to life in my profession. Not only that, but you see it come to life in parenthood, you see it come to life in marriage. All of these life lessons they teach you through the game of football- it’s really amazing to see how applicable it is to other areas of your life. I really, really appreciate Kyle and Urban and those guys for bringing me here and letting me get to experience that firsthand and use that as a catalyst for my career. Some of those same lessons I learned here as a player and even as a coach here at the University of Utah are lessons I carry forward with me, lessons I try to pass along to players I coach along the way and has really stood the test of time.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports


  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes


Michelle Bodkin

Counting Down Utah Football’s Best Plays From Each Game In 2022: Florida

In the lead up to the 2023 season we thought it would be fun to countdown the best play in each of Utah football's 14 games from 2022.

16 hours ago


Michelle Bodkin

Utah Softball Stamps Ticket To World Series For First Time Since 1994

Utah softball is heading to the World Series for the first time since 1994 after beating SDSU in game three of the Super Regionals.

2 days ago


Michelle Bodkin

Utah Softball Forces Game Three With SDSU

Game one was no doubt disappointing for Utah softball, but they made up for it Saturday, forcing game three with San Diego State on Sunday.

3 days ago


Michelle Bodkin

Instant Replay: Utah Softball’s Julia Jimenez Hits A Grand Slam

Utah's third baseman Julia Jimenez hit a timely grand slam for the Utes against San Diego State in day two of the Super Regionals.

3 days ago


Michelle Bodkin

Utes Fall To San Diego State In First Super Regional Game

Utah softball is playing host to SDSU in the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament, falling to the Aztecs in the opener.

3 days ago


Michelle Bodkin

2024 Utah Quarterback Commit To Compete In Elite 11 Finals

Days after announcing his intention to play for the Utes, Isaac Wilson was invited to compete in the Elite 11.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

ksl sports logos...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.

Former Utah Quarterback Brian Johnson On Enjoying ‘Where His Feet Are’