Matt Johnson, the former Edison High football coach, has left one of the more storied but high-maintenance programs throughout the Central Section to take over the Madera South program.
“It’s really an opportunity to grow and thrive and explore another part of our community,” Johnson said Wednesday. “For me to spread my wings out a little bit and see if I can really coach.”
The former USC football player from the 1980s had spent the past four seasons at Edison, where he went 31-18, won one section title and finished section runner-up another year.
31-18 Matt Johnson’s overall record in four seasons as Edison coach
Johnson now will head a Madera South program that’s endured nine losing seasons in its 10-year existence, including a 4-8 campaign last season under former coach Dane Cook.
“Let's be honest, I’ll never be much of a coach if the only time I win is when I have 12 college guys,” Johnson said while referring to Edison’s rich history of producing Division I football players. “People always look at that (like) ‘Yeah, anyone can win with that team.’
“Can I really dig in and change something? I'm going to find out.”
Johnson long has been associated with the Edison program, having previously served as an assistant under former coach and ex-NFL star Tim McDonald from 2003-2011.
In all, Johnson helped the Tigers win six league championships, two section titles and even one state playoff game.
Matt Johnson was The Bee’s Coach of the Year in 2014 after the Tigers won the Central Section Division-I title.
Johnson even was The Bee’s co-Coach of the Year in 2014 after the Tigers went 12-2.
Edison, however, finished 5-7 overall during each of the past two seasons and came under fire by some vocal parents and the Edison community.
During one incident this past season, a parent bad-mouthed and threatened to fight Johnson in front of players immediately after a football game that Edison lost.
Johnson, in a story about the Tigers starting off 0-4 last season, later replied: “I hate to throw our fans and parents under the bus, but they’re notoriously vocal. This is what we’re up against right now.”