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College Football: Claeys adds Johnson, Miller to Gopher staff

MINNEAPOLIS - University of Minnesota football coach Tracy Claeys on Wednesday announced the hiring of assistant coaches Jay Johnson and Bart Miller.

MINNEAPOLIS - University of Minnesota football coach Tracy Claeys on Wednesday announced the hiring of assistant coaches Jay Johnson and Bart Miller.

Johnson will serve as Minnesota's offensive coordinator and will also coach the quarterbacks, while Miller will coach the offensive line.

"Jay and Bart are both tremendous people and will fit in naturally with our staff," said Claeys. "These are two individuals we identified early in the process, and I am thrilled that they are headed to Minnesota. They are great coaches with proven track records and will help our student-athletes improve on and off the field."

Johnson, who is from Lakeville, has more than two decades of coaching experience on offense and just recently completed his fifth season as offensive coordinator for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.

"I am extremely excited," said Johnson. "It's a great opportunity to come home. I grew up there and have been a Gopher fan all my life, so to come back home and be closer to family and to be part of a great institution like Minnesota is certainly a very exciting opportunity for me."

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Miller arrives in Minneapolis after a two-year stint as the offensive line coach at Florida Atlantic. Miller, who is from Omaha, Neb., has also served as an offensive line coach at New Mexico State and Wisconsin.

"I'm very excited," said Miller. "This is a great opportunity for me and my family to be back in the Midwest and back in the Big Ten. I share Coach Claeys' vision for the program and it's an opportunity to get back to the brand of football that I believe in and that I like to coach. I think we're going to do some great things."

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Johnson directed an offense that set multiple school records during his five years at Louisiana. Under Johnson, the Cajuns set school records for total offense (5,914 yards) and points (461) in 2012. Johnson's offense finished 22nd in the nation in rushing in 2014, as it averaged 225.9 yards per game.

In 2013, the Cajuns set program records for total first downs (283) and total plays from scrimmage (883). Johnson's offense was also extremely effective in the red zone during his stint at Louisiana, as it finished 10th in the nation in 2014, converting at a 91.2 percent success rate.

Johnson also coached and developed record-setting quarterback Terrance Broadway from 2012-14. Broadway is the school's record holder in total offense with 9,240 yards. In 2013, Broadway led Sun Belt quarterbacks in passing efficiency and completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,419 yards and 19 touchdowns. Prior to Broadway, Johnson coached quarterback Blaine Gautier, who in 2011, threw for a school record 2,958 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Johnson has previously served as offensive coordinator at Augsburg, Truman State and Southern Miss and has also coached on the offensive side of the ball at Kansas, Louisville and Central Michigan.

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He coached at Southern Miss from 2003-07. He worked with the tight ends in 2003, the running backs in 2004 and was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2005-07. While Johnson was at Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles set a school record for total offense in 2007 with 5,066 yards and eclipsed the 5,000-yard plateau for the first time in school history.

Johnson played high school football at Lakeville and then became a three-time All-Gateway Conference quarterback at Northern Iowa, where he led the Panthers to a 31-8 record. Northern Iowa won three conference championships and appeared in the playoffs three times as well. Johnson finished his career with almost 500 completions and threw for more than 8,000 yards and 58 touchdowns.

Johnson also holds a variety of academic honors to go with his on-field prowess. He earned President's Academic Excellence honors in the Gateway Conference and held a perfect 4.0 grade point average while completing his master's degree at Missouri. That earned him a Superior Graduate Achievement Award from the Department of Health and Exercise Science, and he was a Dean's List scholar at Northern Iowa.

At Florida Atlantic, Miller's offensive line brought down the opposing sack numbers through improved technique and play. Miller's unit allowed only 26 sacks in 887 opportunities in 2015 and just 21 sacks from 869 tries in 2014. In the four seasons before Miller arrived, the Owls had allowed an average of 31 sacks per season.

Under Miller, the Florida Atlantic offensive line blocked for 10 different ball carriers who amassed 1,962 yards, which was just shy of the program record. Miller took over an offensive line that returned just one traditional starter for the Owls. Miller's opening day left tackle Reggie Bain, a true freshman, earned freshman All-America honors during his first year on the job. Bain was joined by Mikingson Marsaille and Kelly Parfitt as all-conference selections during Miller's tenure.

At New Mexico State, Miller helped create a new offensive system for the Aggies which yielded 34 points per game and an average of 300 yards per game while rushing for 180 yards per game through the squad's last five games. He took over a line that had allowed 45 sacks and improved that protection by more than half to just 20 in more than 400 opportunities.

As the offensive line coach at Wisconsin, Miller took over a unit in September that ranked 103rd nationally in rushing averaging only 101 yards per game. That group improved to finish 12th in the nation, averaging 237.8 yards per game and 5.2 yards per rush.

Miller coached NFL draft picks and 2012 All-Big Ten honorees Ricky Wagner, Ryan Groy and Travis Frederick, while helping to re-establish a physical Wisconsin running game.

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In 2011, as a graduate assistant at Wisconsin, Miller worked directly with the offensive line and tight ends, helping lead an offense that averaged 44.1 points. He coached and worked with NFL first- and second-round picks, All-Big Ten honorees and All-Americans Kevin Zeitler and Peter Konz, Heisman Finalist Montee Ball and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson. Miller helped guide all five starting offensive linemen to receive either All-American or All-Conference honors.

Miller began his coaching career at New Mexico State where he worked primarily with the offensive line as a graduate assistant.

Miller holds a bachelor's degree from New Mexico and obtained a master's degree from New Mexico State.

As a player at New Mexico, Miller was a starter and two-year letterman on the offensive line. He earned Academic All-Mountain West Conference honors as a junior and senior. Miller played right guard in 2007 and the Lobos had a 1,000-yard rusher, two 1,000-yard receivers and a 3,000-yard passer.

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