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Drinkwitz finalizes Mizzou staff with Marcus Johnson, former Mississippi State O-line coach

Drinkwitz finalizes Mizzou staff with Marcus Johnson, former Mississippi State O-line coach

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Eliah Drinkwitz becomes Mizzou's 33rd head football coach

University of Missouri Director of Athletics Jim Sterk, left, poses with Eliah Drinkwitz as he accepts the position of head football coach at Mizzou on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. Photo by Cristina M. Fletes, cfletes@post-dispatch.com.

Missouri football coach Eliah Drinkwitz has hired his 10th and final assistant coach, finalizing his staff with the addition of Marcus Johnson, who for the past two seasons was Mississippi State's offensive line coach. Johnson, a former SEC player and second-round NFL draft pick, was Duke's O-line coach for two seasons prior to joining Joe Moorhead's staff in Starkville, Miss. Moorhead was fired earlier this month and replaced Friday by Mike Leach. 

“I’m excited to add Marcus and his family to our family at Mizzou,” Drinkwitz said. “The experience he brings as a player and coach in the SEC, coupled with the success he’s had as a player in the NFL and developing a lot of guys who have made it to that next level, make this a great hire for our program.”

“I’m absolutely excited about the opportunity to work with Coach Drink and be part of the Mizzou program,” Johnson said.  “I think Coach Drink is one of the top young, innovative coaches out there, and this is an amazing opportunity for me to continue to grow and develop in the profession. My family and I are looking forward to this new chapter in our lives and I’m excited to get to work learning everything I need to know about Missouri.”

Johnson, 38, played along the O-line at Ole Miss from 2001-04 then became a second-round choice of the Minnesota Vikings in 2005. He spent four years with the Vikings and later played with Oakland and Tampa Bay. He reunited with his college coach David Cutcliffe at Duke in 2011, joining the staff as strength and conditioning assistant, then climbed the ranks to quality control coach from 2013-15 before a promotion to O-line coach in 2016. After two years in that role he returned to his home state as part of Moorhead's first Mississippi State staff. 

Missouri has not officially announced coaching assignments for some of the assistants Drinkwitz has hired, but he's now at the capacity of 10 position coaches/coordinators. (Coaches with asterisks are holdover from Barry Odom's 2019 staff):

OFFENSE

Marcus Johnson (most recently offensive line coach at Mississippi State)

Bush Hamdan (most recently coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Washington)

Curtis Luper (most recently co-coordinator/running backs coach at TCU)

Casey Woods (most recently tight ends coach at UAB)

DEFENSE

Ryan Walters, defensive coordinator*

Brick Haley, defensive line coach/assistant head coach*

David Gibbs, defensive backs*

Charlie Harbison, associate head coach (previously cornerbacks coach at Appalachian State)

D.J. Smith (previously linebackers coach at Appalachian State)

SPECIAL TEAMS

Erik Link, special teams coordinator (previously special teams coordinator at Appalachian State)

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