THE FLATS – Former Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson has been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2023, the National Football Foundation (NFF) announced on Monday.
In his first year of eligibility for enshrinement, Johnson will become Georgia Tech’s 20th College Football Hall of Fame inductee and its third in the last 10 years, joining quarterback Joe Hamilton (2014) and wide receiver Calvin Johnson (2018). He is the fourth Georgia Tech head coach to be enshrined (joining John Heisman, William Alexander and Bobby Dodd), but the first since Dodd in 1993.
“On behalf of the entire Georgia Tech community, congratulations to Coach Johnson on his selection for induction to the College Football Hall of Fame,” Georgia Tech director of athletics J Batt said. “Coach Johnson led our football program to great heights during his 11 seasons on The Flats, while also producing outstanding men that have gone on to enjoy success on and off the field. He is a Georgia Tech legend and it is fitting that he now stands among the greatest coaches in college football history.”
Utilizing his patented spread option offense, Johnson compiled a career record of 189-99 (.656) in 22 seasons as a head coach, including an 82-60 record in 11 seasons at Georgia Tech (2008-18). His 82 wins are the fourth-most in Tech history, behind only Dodd (165), Alexander (134) and Heisman (102), while only Dodd won more games in his first 11 seasons on The Flats (91). Johnson’s .577 winning percentage with the Yellow Jackets ranks fifth in program history, behind only Heisman (.764), Dodd (.713), George O’Leary (.612) and Alexander (.580). Under Johnson, the Yellow Jackets compiled two of the nine 10-win seasons and one of the five 11-win campaigns in Georgia Tech’s 130-year football history.
He led the Jackets to nine bowl appearances and three Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Games and was named ACC Coach of the Year three times (2008, 2009 and 2014) during his 11 seasons at Tech. He was selected as National Coach of the Year by CBS Sportsline in 2008, marking the second time in his career that he received National Coach of the Year honors (Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year – 2004, Navy).
Johnson’s 22-year career as a head coach also included ultra-successful stints at Georgia Southern (1997-2001) and the U.S. Naval Academy (2002-07). In five seasons at Georgia Southern, he led the Eagles to a gaudy 62-10 overall record, two NCAA Division I-AA national championships (1999 and 2000) and five-straight Southern Conference titles. In six years at Navy, he led the Midshipmen to five eight-win seasons, five Commander-in-Chief’s trophies and five bowl appearances, turning around a program that had won just one game in the two seasons prior to his arrival (1-20).
When he stepped down at Georgia Tech at the end of the 2018 season, his 189 career victories ranked fourth among NCAA Division I FBS head coaches.
“Congratulations to Coach Johnson on his induction to the College Football Hall of Fame,” Georgia Tech head coach Brent Key said. “He truly deserves to join Heisman, Alexander and Dodd as Georgia Tech’s Hall of Fame coaches due to the great success that he brought to The Flats. As an alumnus, I’m grateful for the legacy that he built here at Georgia Tech. I ask that Tech fans everywhere join me in thanking and congratulating him, his family and all of his former and players for this much-deserved honor.”
Johnson and the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 will be officially inducted on Dec. 5 at the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner in Las Vegas. His enshrinement will be commemorated at the College Football Hall of Fame, which is located in downtown Atlanta, less than a mile from Georgia Tech’s midtown campus.