Football Coaching Staff
Defensive Line Coach
Dennis Johnson takes on the role of defensive line coach in 2018, replacing the legendary Pete Jenkins who retired following the 2017 season. Johnson, a LSU graduate and a member of the school’s 2011 Southeastern Conference Championship team, is in his third season as a full-time coach on the Tiger staff.
Johnson, who coached outside linebackers during his first two years on Ed Orgeron’s staff, is also a talented recruiter with an innate ability to land big-time recruits. He has played a pivotal role in LSU’s last two signing classes.
Johnson was first elevated to a full-time assistant coach in September of 2016 where he coached outside linebackers for the final eight games of the year. He was then given the job on a permanent basis when Orgeron was named LSU’s head coach in late November.
Johnson, who is affectionately nicknamed “Meatball” is a former LSU defensive linemen who was a member of the Tigers’ 13-0 regular season and Southeastern Conference Championship team in 2011.
After graduating from LSU in May of 2012, Johnson got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Northwestern State, where he coached the Demon linebackers. Johnson also spent the 2013 season at Northwestern State where he worked with the secondary.
After a brief stint at Kentucky in 2014, Johnson was lured back to LSU in time for the 2014 season, serving as a graduate assistant working with the defensive line. Johnson remained with the defensive line in 2015, working under Orgeron. Johnson was four games into his second season as a graduate assistant in 2016 when LSU made a head coaching change and thus was elevated to outside linebackers coach.
In his first year as LSU’s outside linebackers coach, Johnson played a key role in the development of senior Duke Riley, who in his first and only season as a starter for the Tigers, led the team in tackles with 93. Riley was also named LSU’s most valuable player for the 2016 season and earned a spot in the Senior Bowl.
As a player for the Tigers, Johnson developed into a dependable backup on the defensive line where he played in 19 games in three years. Johnson finished his career with 11 tackles and one tackle for loss. A three-year letterwinner for LSU from 2009-11, Johnson joined the Tigers in 2008 after transferring from Itawamba Community College in Mississippi.
Johnson graduated from LSU in May of 2012 with a degree in general studies. Johnson added a Master’s degree in Health Promotion and Administration from Northwestern State in 2014.
The Johnson File
As a coach