Johnson reaffirms commitment to Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt Football Head Coach Bobby Johnson has withdrawn his name from consideration for the head coaching vacancy at Duke, Vanderbilt officials announced today.

Johnson, a native of Columbia, S.C., informed Duke officials of his decision to remain at Vanderbilt Tuesday afternoon, Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for University Affairs David Williams confirmed.

The decision paves the way for Johnson to return for his seventh season at the helm of Commodore football. He will become the first coach with seven years of head coaching service since the mid-1980s.

Johnson has rebuilt the Commodore program since arriving in December 2001 after leading Furman University to the I-AA national championship game. Since the 2005 season began, Johnson’s Commodores have notched 14 victories, tying for the most wins in a three-year span since Vanderbilt registered 15 total wins from 1982-84.

"I’m grateful to Vanderbilt University, its administration, staff, students and fans. I have a deep sense of loyalty to Vanderbilt. We’ve enjoyed some successes in recent years, but all of us want to see more success in the future. That’s the goal as I go further in this position."

"I’m also pleased that David (Williams) and the administration believe in what we are trying to accomplish here at Vanderbilt. Their continuing commitment to the program will definitely give us a better opportunity to creating a winning football program at Vanderbilt. I’m excited about the future of Commodore football," Johnson added.

Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for University Affairs David Williams, who has oversight responsibilities of all Vanderbilt varsity athletics, said the university administration is pleased that Johnson has decided to continue in his role.

"I’m extremely happy that Bobby Johnson will continue to be our head football coach. I’ve felt for a long time that Bobby is the guy we want at the helm of our football team. Bobby possesses a rare combination as a coach, mentor and leader. We truly believe Bobby and his staff are an ideal fit for our university," Williams said. "Duke correctly identified our coach as an excellent candidate to turn their program around. They saw what we see every day, a man that goes about his business in a very professional manner.

"Bobby and his staff have been successful at Vanderbilt. They have indeed changed the culture around our football program. I’m truly excited about where they will take our program as we go forward," Williams added.

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Contact: Larry Leathers, (615) 343-6437

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