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Chargers add Milus, Johnston to coaching staff
San Diego Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy added two more coaches to his staff today, naming Ron Milus secondary coach and Kent Johnston strength and conditioning coach.
Milus relocates to San Diego from Denver, where he spent the last two seasons coaching the Broncos’ secondary. The Broncos were one of the NFL’s best defensive units in 2012 as they led the NFL in allowing the fewest yards per pass play (6.4). Denver ranked second in the League in total defense last season and third against the pass as they won the AFC West title with a 13-3 record and earned the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Cornerback Chris Harris returned two of his three interceptions for touchdowns and veteran corner Champ Bailey was selected to the AFC Pro Bowl squad for the 12th time in his career.
Milus’ most recent stint with the Broncos was the second of his career. In 2000, he broke into the NFL coaching ranks as the defensive backs coach for the Broncos. A cornerback and return specialist at the University of Washington in the mid-1980s, Milus started coaching at Lincoln High School in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington in 1988. He spent three years coaching defensive backs at Lincoln, earned a graduate assistant’s position at Washington in 1991 and then spent the 1992-98 seasons as the defensive backs coach for the Huskies, who made two Rose Bowl appearances during his time. In addition, the Huskies led the nation with 22 interceptions in 1993 and they led the Pac-10 with 16 in 1995. In 1999, Milus spent a year coaching defensive backs at Texas A&M before joining the Broncos a year later.
Milus’ first stint in Denver lasted three years (2000-02) and he subsequently coached defensive backs in Arizona (2003), the New York Giants (2004-05), St. Louis (2006-08) and Carolina (2009-10) before returning to Denver in 2011. Among the highlights from his first stop in Denver, the secondary accounted for 21 interceptions in 2000, its highest total since 1987. In 2001, cornerback Deltha O’Neal earned Pro Bowl honors after tying for third in the NFL with nine interceptions, most on the team and third-most in Broncos history.
Milus and his wife, Sandra, have two sons: Ryan and Bobby. Ryan runs track at Arizona State and Bobby is a cornerback at Colorado State-Pueblo.
Johnston joins the Chargers from Cleveland, where he spent the last three seasons heading up the Browns’ strength and conditioning program. The 1997 Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society, Johnston began his NFL coaching career in Tampa Bay (1987-91). He spent seven seasons in Green Bay (1992-98) during which time the Packers won three NFC Central titles, went to the playoffs six times and played in two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXXI after the 1996 season.
In 1999, Johnston followed former Packers Head Coach Mike Holmgren to Seattle, where he spent five seasons (1999-03) and worked with a team that made two playoff appearances. Johnston worked two more years as the strength and conditioning coach at the University of Alabama (2004-05) before leaving football to work in the non-profit and business sectors. In 2010, he returned to the NFL with the Browns.
A native of Mexia, Texas, Johnston graduated from Stephen F. Austin University and earned a master’s in physical education from Alabama in 1984. He began coaching high school football in Teague, Texas in 1978 and continued to coach in high school and college, including a four-year stint at Alabama from 1983-86, until he joined the Buccaneers in 1987.
Johnston and his wife, Pam, have four sons: Kody, Kole, Clay and Cade.