USFL hires Curtis Johnson as Houston Gamblers head coach

USFL hires Curtis Johnson as Houston Gamblers head coach

Feb 15

HOUSTON — The USFL on Wednesday announced that Curtis Johnson has been hired as the new head coach of the Houston Gamblers.

Johnson is a long-time NFL veteran offensive assistant coach and also spent four seasons as the head coach at Tulane. He immediately assumes duties from Kevin Sumlin.

"We’re very excited for Coach Johnson to bring his 35 years of experience improving players at the professional and collegiate levels to the USFL family as the new Houston Gamblers head coach," said Daryl Johnston, the USFL's Executive Vice President of Football Operations. "Coach Johnson has been on the USFL head coach radar, so when Coach Sumlin recently informed us that he would be stepping down, I immediately called Curtis. We’re thrilled that he enthusiastically embraced the challenge to be the Gamblers head coach."

Johnson, 61, spent two separate stints with the New Orleans Saints as a wide receivers coach and senior offensive assistant. In 2009 he coached on the team that won Super Bowl XLIV. He has also held a role as receivers coach with the Chicago Bears of the NFL, as well as the same position at several universities, including California, San Diego State, SMU, Idaho, and Miami, where he helped the 2001 Hurricanes win the National Championship. 

Johnson’s first head coach job was at Tulane from 2012-2015. He takes over a Gamblers team that will be hosted in Memphis for the upcoming 2023 season.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to serve Houston, their fans, and our players. I want to make the city of Houston proud about our team and the USFL," said Johnson. "As a former wide receivers coach, I’m going to bring a brand of football that is exciting and fast by airing it out while also running the ball. On defense, the Gamblers will always be focused on being physical and creating turnovers. I’m excited to get to work building a winner for Houston football fans."

USFL Season 2 kicks off in April at four host cities in Memphis, Birmingham, Alabama, Canton, Ohio, and Detroit.

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