Feb. 13, 2014
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio University football head coach Frank Solich welcomed two new assistants with a combined 40-plus years of coaching experience in Scott Isphording and Dave Johnson and the promotion of former Bobcat player Chris Rodgers to his staff on Thursday.
Solich named Isphording Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks coach and Johnson as the team's Offensive Line coach. Solich also elevated Rodgers to the role of Director of Football Operations.
The three staff changes complete the vacancies left by former Bobcat staffers Gerry Gdowski, Keven Lightner and Jason Grooms, who departed for Vanderbilt. Gdowski, Lightner and Grooms joined former Bobcat coach and Solich assistant Derek Mason, who was tabbed as the Commodores' head coach on Jan. 18.
Isphording is no stranger to Athens, Ohio. In 2009 he served as the Bobcats' Tight Ends Coach and Recruiting Coordinator. Following the 2009 season, Isphording joined the University of Toledo staff where he served as the quarterbacks coach from 2010-11. In 2012, he added the roles of passing game coordinator and recruiting coordinator to his list of responsibilities.
During his four-year stint with the Rockets, Isphording helped guide Toledo to 24 wins, three bowl games, the 2011 Military Bowl title and a 2011 Mid-American Conference West Co-Championship title. In his two seasons as the program's recruiting coordinator, he helped the Rockets earn the MAC's top recruiting class in both 2012 and 2013, according to Rivals.com and Scout.com. Scout.com also selected Isphording as the MAC Recruiter of the Year.
In addition to his time at Toledo and Ohio, Isphording spent five seasons at Eastern Michigan. He also spent six years as an assistant coach at Wittenberg University. During his six-year tenure, Isphording helped guide Wittenberg to a 56-4 record. He began his coaching career on the staffs at Colorado School of Mines and Fort Hays State University.
As a player, Isphording starred at Hanover College where he finished second in school history in career passing yards.
Johnson arrives in Athens, having coached in 16 bowl games. In those 16 bowl appearances, he posted an 11-5 record. He has also won nine Division IA conference Championship titles (Big East, SEC, MAC). In addition, Johnson has mentored 12 NFL players, five All-Americans and 32 all-conference selections.
Johnson spent the 2013 campaign with the University of Massachusetts. Prior to that in 2011 and 2012, Johnson was part of a Cincinnati offense that ranked among the best in the Big East each year. In 2012, the Bearcats led the league in scoring offense and rushing offense.
Prior to joining UC, Johnson was the offensive line coach at West Virginia University from 2008-10. Behind the blocking of the line, the Mountaineer offense accumulated 400 or more yards of total offense in seven games in 2010.
Johnson spent 2001-07 as the tight ends coach at the University of Georgia. The Bulldogs won 72 games, averaging more than 10 wins a season, three SEC East Division Championships, two SEC Championships, five bowl wins and five Top-10 national finishes during his time in Athens. Four of his tight ends, Randy McMichael, Ben Watson, Martez Milner and Leonard Pope are playing in the NFL.
As a player, Johnson was a four-year letterwinner the West Virginia football team and played in the 1981 Peach Bowl and the 1982 Gator Bowl.
Rodgers earned the promotion to Director of Football Operations after he spent the entire 2013 campaign, serving as an operations assistant. In his role as an operations assistant, Rodgers planned and organized team travel, collaborated with NFL scouts, facilitated the Ohio Football Alumni Golf Outing and directed high school youth camps.
Rodgers also is no stranger to the Ohio football program as he spent five seasons with the team from 2005-09. During his career at Ohio, Rodgers played in two bowl games. He began his career as a tight end before moving to the offensive line.
As a senior in 2009, Rodgers started in all of the Bobcats' 14 games, including Ohio's trip to Mid-American Conference Championship game and the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit, Mich. Rodgers' work up front on the offensive line helped the Bobcats finish the year with a 9-5 record and average over 300 yards of total offense per game.