Shawn Johnson, a 2003 NCAA I-AA consensus All-American at Delaware, begins his second season as a member of the Fordham football coaching staff after joining the Rams in June of 2008. He will oversee the outside linebackers again at Rose Hill in 2009.
This past June, Johnson was one of three Fordham coaches who participated in the sixth annual Lauren's First and Goal Football Camp at Lafayette College. The one-day clinic featured 275 college coaches who volunteered their time to teach aspiring football players the in-and-outs of the game and raise money for Lauren's First and Goal, acharitable organization created to support pediatric brain tumor research, support local pediatric cancer services, provide financial assistance to families living with a pediatric cancer diagnosis and to raise public awareness regarding pediatric brain tumors.
Last year, Johnson guided the outside linebackers, a unit that helped the Fordham defense rank first in the Patriot League in passing defense and second in total defense.
Johnson joined the Fordham staff after serving as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach of the Rochester Raiders of the Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL) in 2007. He acquired valuable experience in vital aspects of coaching in Rochester, including play-calling, scripting practice, running meetings and breaking down film to create scouting reports and game plans.
A graduate of Duke University, where he received a degree in biological anthropology and anatomy and was twice named Academic All-Atlantic Coast Conference, Johnson was a three-year standout for the Blue Devils football squad. He appeared in every game during his Duke tenure, finishing his career with 127 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss and 15 sacks which placed him fourth on Duke's all-time sack list and ninth on the all-time tackles for loss chart. Johnson enjoyed his best season in 2002 when he was part of a Duke defensive unit which led the ACC in fewest rushing yards allowed per game. That year, he was third on the team in tackles with 73 and earned First Team All-ACC honors after leading the league in sacks (12) and tackles for loss (19.5).
Following his time at Duke and with one year of eligibility remaining, Johnson transferred to the University of Delaware for the 2003 season. He was tabbed the I-AA Newcomer of the Year by Lindy's and lived up to the billing, finishing the season with a Delaware school record 26 tackles for loss and leading the Atlantic 10 with 13.5 sacks. Johnson was named the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year and was voted a consensus I-AA All-American as he helped the Blue Hens to a 15-1 record and the NCAA I-AA national championship.
Johnson was selected by the Oakland Raiders with the first pick of the sixth round of the 2004 NFL draft and would go on to play with the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins before suffering a career-ending injury.
Football runs in the Johnson family. Shawn's younger brother, Travis, was an All-Patriot League tight end for the Rams from 2000-03 and is currently on his second tour of duty fighting the war on terror with the Marines, while his other brother, Erik, served as a team captain for the University of Delaware in 2008.