Fifteenth Annual Manheim Touchdown Club Banquet
Thursday May 23rd 2013
Reception at 5:30 PM with Dinner at 6:45
Lancaster Host Resort & Conference Center
Guest Speaker Message
When Penn State found itself in the unenviable position of having to replace Joe Paterno, the process took months before PSU landed New England offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. O’Brien quickly ingratiated himself to the Nittany Lion faithful with one swift decision: retaining defensive line coach Larry Johnson, Sr. Why is Johnson such a big deal? Simply put, his recruiting has been the key to Penn State’s success over the last decade.
Johnson is in his 18th year of coaching at Penn State and his 14th straight as defensive line coach (he previously coached defensive ends and special teams). Under his tutelage, Penn State’s defensive front has been led by first-team consensus All-Americans Courtney Brown, Tamba Hali, Michael Haynes, Jimmy Kennedy and most recently, Devon Still. Jared Odrick and Aaron Maybin also made All-American lists after being coached by Johnson.
In terms of recruiting, Johnson has been the leader of Penn State’s efforts for years, primarily in the Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania areas.
Johnson’s connection to Penn State goes beyond mere loyalty through longevity. His son, Larry Johnson Jr., was indeed the same that ran for over 2,000 yards for Penn State in 2002, and his younger son, Tony, was a starting wide receiver for PSU who graduated in 2003.
Coach Johnson is from North Carolina, was an outstanding linebacker at Elizabeth City University and played one year with the Washington Redskins. Larry first coached in high school in Maryland and Virginia. In Maryland his team was 82 – 10, making 8 consecutive appearances in in the state playoff and winning 3 state titles. In 1993 Larry Johnson became coach at the T.C.Williams High School, that was made famous by the film “Remember the Titans”.