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Thursday, February 2, 2012
Brian Johnson named O-coordinator

By Ted Miller
ESPN.com

Utah has promoted Brian Johnson from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator.

Johnson, who will turn 25 on Feb. 16, has been the Utes' quarterbacks coach for just a year. He will replace Norm Chow, who was hired as Hawaii's coach.

"After spending the past month conducting a national search for an offensive coordinator, it became very apparent that we had the best candidate for the job right here on our own staff," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement. "Brian is a leader and a special coaching talent, just as he was a special player, and he is the right person to lead our offense."

Johnson, the winningest quarterback in Utah history, went 26-7 as the Utes' starter in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Most memorably, he was the MVP of the blowout victory over Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl.

Johnson will continue to coach quarterbacks for the Utes.

Whittingham also announced other staff moves. Defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake was given the title of assistant head coach. Co-offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick, in his eighth year coaching the receivers, also will serve as the passing game coordinator.

Dan Finn, a Utah graduate assistant from 2004 to 2006, has been hired to coach the centers and guards. Finn spent last season as the offensive line coach at San Diego State and the four years before that as the offensive line coach at Idaho.

Tim Davis, Utah's offensive line coach in 2011, will now concentrate on coaching the tackles and tight ends.

Jay Hill, in his eighth season as a full-time assistant, takes over the running backs. Hill has served two different stints as the cornerbacks coach, most recently in 2010 and 2011, and oversaw the tight ends from 2007 to 2009. He remains Utah's special teams coordinator.

Sharrieff Shah, a starting safety for the Utes from 1990 to 1993 and a three-year team captain, returns to his alma mater to coach the cornerbacks. Shah, a Salt Lake City attorney since 2001, was a certified NFL agent from 1996 to 2002, representing players in the NFL, CFL and NFL Europe.

Shah received his bachelor's, master's and law degrees from Utah. Shah also has served as a sideline reporter for ESPN 700 radio for the past 12 years.

Ted Miller covers the Pac-12 for ESPN.com.