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Edison's Matt Johnson to Lead Madera South's Football Program Print E-mail
News - Sports
Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 09:02

MADERA - Less than a month after the resignation of Dane Cook, former Madera South High School Varsity Football Coach, the Stallions have a new leader. Matt Johnson, former varsity football coach from Fresno's Edison High School has been hired to lead the Stallion Nation's program.

Johnson, who played college football at the University of Southern California in the mid 80's, was an assistant coach for eight years under former Edison coach Tim McDonald. He also served as lead assistant under "one-year" head coach Ricky Manning. Then lead the Tigers to a 2014 CIF Valley Championship (first Edison championship since 1975) during his four year tenor as Edison's varsity football coach.

Edison High is known for their Smash-Mouth style football play concentrating on the run with passing as their secondary focus. The Madera Unified School District board of trustees felt this was a good fit for the perennially struggling Stallions who have now gone through two previous coaches in the schools 11 year history.

While Edison had a reputation for their "sports first" philosophy, it was McDonald and Johnson who turned that around to prepare their players for the next level of academics by creating tutoring programs for the players and getting them into college preparatory classes.

He said in a 2013 interview, "The focus is simple. We are Student-Athletes. Not Athlete-Students. It's about learning the values of education because there is life after football. Athletics is secondary. Academics takes precedence."

Johnson has been coaching football over twenty-five years, fourteen of those at Edison High School. He played at USC from 1983 to 1985 with Tim McDonald who he was also partners with in the World Sports Cafe at the River Park Shopping Center in Fresno before it closed in 2014. Johnson was also a local talk host for high school sports show on 940am ESPN Radio with Nick Papagni.

Papagni had this to say of Johnson on his Internet blog, "Matt was so much more than a football coach at Edison. He was a coach, counselor, dad, uncle, teacher, leader, friend….a coach that players loved and he will be missed and it will be very tough to replace a Matt at Edison.  There is only one Matt Johnson and the Stallions will soon find out."

Johnson will also work at Madera South in a yet to be determined role, resigning today from Fresno Unified.


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