Rockets Add Jon Heacock, Anthony Johnson to Football Staff - Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Courtesy: UT

Rockets Add Jon Heacock, Anthony Johnson to Football Staff

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University of Toledo head football coach Matt Campbell announced the addition of Jon Heacock and Anthony Johnson to the Rockets' staff today. Heacock, a former head coach at Youngstown State as well as a former UT graduate assistant, will serve as defensive coordinator and safeties coach. Johnson, a former Sam Houston State assistant, will serve as the Rockets' running backs coach.


"I'm very excited to add John Heacock and Anthony Johnson to our staff," said Campbell. "Jon has had a tremendous amount of coaching experience at all levels, and brings the added value of having been a college head coach. Anthony is a rising young coach in our business and will bring a lot of energy and a new perspective into our running game."


Jon Heacock – Defensive Coordinator / Safeties

Jon Heacock, a 30-year veteran of the college football coaching ranks, returns to Toledo as the defensive coordinator. Heacock, who spent the 1983 season as a graduate assistant at UT under Dan Simrell, will also coach the safeties.


"I can't say enough about the experience that Jon brings to our program," said Campbell. "He was a Rocket under Coach Simrell back in the 1980's, so you could say he is coming back to his roots. Since those days, Jon has gained a reputation for being one of the great defensive minds in college football. We are very fortunate to have someone of his stature join our program."


Heacock comes to the Rockets after spending one season as the defensive backs coach at Purdue. Prior to that, he was the defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach at Kent State in 2011 and 2012. Under Heacock, the Golden Flashes' defense had 38 takeaways in 2012, second among all FBS schools, and an FBS-best 1.62 turnover margin. The Flashes finished with an 11-3 record in 2012, including a perfect 8-0 mark in the Mid-American Conference. They were in the upper half of the MAC in nearly every defensive statistical category, including second in rushing defense and fourth in scoring defense. In 2011, Heacock's defense was seventh in the FBS in fumbles recovered and turnover margin, 10th in turnovers gained, 18th in tackles for loss and 21st in total defense.


Prior to joining KSU in 2011, Heacock spent nine seasons as the head coach at Youngstown State, which included a 2006 run to the national semifinals in the Football Championship Subdivision. He was named the Gateway Conference Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2006 and ended his tenure with a 60-44 overall record.

In addition to serving as the head coach at YSU, Heacock also served as the Penguins' defensive coordinator for six years (1992-96, 2000) and defensive backs coach for an additional year (1991), which included Division I-AA national championships in 1991, 1993 and 1994.


Heacock also has Big Ten experience, having served as the defensive coordinator at Indiana from 1997 to 1999 and as a graduate assistant under legendary head coach Bo Schembechler at Michigan.


Heacock played college football at Muskingum College, graduating in 1983 with a degree in health and physical education.


Jon Heacock's Coaching Experience

2014                Toledo – Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

2013                Purdue - Secondary

2010-12           Kent State – Defensive Coordinator / Cornerbacks

2001-09           Youngstown State - Head Coach

2000                Youngstown State - Defensive Coordinator

1997-99           Indiana - Defensive Coordinator

1992-96           Youngstown State – Defensive Coordinator

1991-96           Youngstown State – Defensive Backs

1990                Army – Assistant

1988-89           Michigan – Graduate Assistant

1985-87           West Liberty - Defensive Coordinator / Defensive Line / Secondary

1984                Steubenville High School – Assistant Coach

1983                Toledo – Graduate Assistant



Anthony Johnson – Running Backs

Anthony Johnson joins the Rockets as the running backs coach. Johnson previously worked at Sam Houston State as the running backs coach, playing a key role in the Bearkats' 40-15 record the past four years.

"Anthony has made a huge impact as the running backs coach at a very successful Sam Houston State program," said Campbell. "He also has experience at the University of Texas, where he played and coached. I think he will be a huge plus in mentoring a very talented group of running backs."

Sam Houston's running backs have led a Bearkat offense that has produced 38 school records since 2010. The 2012 Bearkats ranked second in the nation in scoring and seventh nationally in rushing yards. The team scored 600 points, a mark only two other teams in NCAA-FCS play have equaled.

Under Johnson's tutelage, running back Timothy Flanders earned All-America and Southland Conference "Player of the Year" honors in consecutive seasons and wildcat back Richard Sincere earned Southland Conference "Offensive Player of the Year" honors in 2011. Flanders was a first team all-league selection and won honors as Southland "Newcomer of the Year" during Johnson's first season at Sam Houston in 2010.

Prior to his stint at Sam Houston, Johnson served on the quality control staff for the University of Texas for three seasons. He worked as a direct assistant to the running backs coach, helping with analyzing video and breaking down opposing defense reports.

As a Longhorns' assistant, Johnson worked with three NFL draft picks - Cedric Benson (Chicago Bears-first round), Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs-third round) and Chris Ogbonnaya (Saint Louis Rams-seventh round). Benson was a first-team All-America selection and winner of the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back. Charles was Big 12 "Freshman of the Year" and earned first-team All-Big 12 honors.

While Johnson was a member of the Longhorns' coaching staff from 2007-09, Texas rolled up a 34-4 record, won the Fiesta Bowl and Holiday Bowl titles and played in the national championship game.

Johnson was an assistant coach at Jefferson High School in Jefferson, TX in 2006, coaching two all-district running backs. The team went 10-2, winning the bi-district championship.

Johnson was a member of the Longhorns' football team from 2001-05, playing on teams that won the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl and two Holiday bowls. He holds a degree from Texas in applied learning and development.

Johnson and his wife Erica are the parents of a daughter, London.

Anthony Johnson's Coaching Experience

2014                Toledo – Running Backs

2010-13           Sam Houston State  - Running Backs

2007-09           Texas – Quality Control

2006                Jefferson High School – Running Backs