Former NFL lineman Marcus Johnson joined the Duke staff in July of 2011 and serves as an assistant coach, mentoring the Blue Devil offensive line. Prior to being promoted to his current role in February, 2016, Johnson worked two years (2011-12) as an assistant with the football program’s strength and conditioning and then as served in the capacity of offensive quality control for three seasons (2013-14-15).
During Johnson’s three campaigns with the Blue Devil offense in the capacity of quality control, Duke won 27 games, captured the 2013 ACC Coastal Division championship and appeared in three bowl games. Working alongside veteran line coach John Latina, Johnson helped guide seven All-ACC picks including Casey Blaser, Takoby Cofield, Dave Harding, Lucas Patrick, Perry Simmons, Matt Skura and Laken Tomlinson.
Duke went 8-5 with a victory over Indiana in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in 2015, and the Blue Devils joined Clemson and North Carolina as the only three squads in the league to rank among the conference’s top five in rushing offense, passing offense, total offense and scoring offense. Blaser, Patrick and Skura each garnered All-ACC honors with Skura adding All-America accolades and an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine to his list of achievements.
In 2014, Tomlinson became Duke’s fifth consensus All-America honoree and was a first round selection (No. 28 overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Tomlinson also received the Courage Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America in conjunction with the Orange Bowl, an award presented annually to a player, coach or support person in college football who displays courage, on or off the field, and was named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which recognizes community service in addition to academic and athletic achievement.
In 2013, Duke ranked among ACC leaders in scoring (5th; 32.8 ppg), total offense (4th; 426.1 ypg), rushing offense (5th; 178.0 ypg) and passing offense (6th; 248.1 ypg). On its way to the ACC Coastal Division championship, the Blue Devils set a school record for total points (459) while becoming the first team in school history to post 25-plus rushing touchdowns and 25-plus passing touchdowns in the same season.
A native of Coffeeville, Miss., Johnson lettered four seasons (2001-02-03-04) as an offensive lineman at Ole Miss under current Duke head coach David Cutcliffe, serving as team co-captain as a senior. He helped the Rebels to 28 wins over four years, the SEC Western Division co-championship in 2003 and a pair of bowl game appearances.
After earning second team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press as a senior, Johnson represented Ole Miss at the 2004 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
A second round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in the 2005 NFL Draft, Johnson spent four seasons (2005-06-07-08) with the Vikings and helped the squad to the NFC North Division championship and a playoff berth in 2008. After spending the 2009 campaign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he closed his playing career with a stint with the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League.
Johnson, who graduated from Ole Miss in 2004 with a degree in criminal justice while minoring in sociology, has one daughter, London.