by Thomas Amster

This season is Coach Johnson's first with Columbus. He is looking to make an immediate impact as the Lion's new offensive line coach. 

So Coach Johnson, what made you want to become a coach?

Coach Johnson: My playing days, when I was still playing football. It's kind of one of the things that games kind of started slowing down for me just a little bit and that's when I knew I started to have a bigger purpose. That is, besides just being a football player myself, I noticed that God gave me the gift to teach. And then at that point in time, I said 'Well, you know what, it's time for me to step down, pass on the torch, and start sharing my gifts and knowledge with other players to try to help them succeed to that next level." They're, you know, going even further than I possibly could ever go. 

How do you feel overall about your group of offensive linemen right now? 

Coach Johnson: You know, they're young. We have two veterans and the rest of the guys are rookies. I think it's a continuity thing at the moment. They're working hard every day. It's gonna take a little time for these guys to really just be able to get used to playing with each other, but they're working hard. And they're buying into the process, which is really the hardest part for a lot of units coming into the season. So that's a great thing.

So what are your expectations that you have for your guys that you like to preach over and over, what's a piece of advice that you give them repeatedly?

Coach Johnson: The main thing I tell them every day is to compete, and to rely on their techniqu,, no matter what. The technique will never fail them. I was always an undersized guy. And I always relied on my technique. And I felt like even a lot of guys with a lot of talent technique is what has taken them all the way, to the distance. So I tell these guys to. rely on their technique and stay true to their fundamentals. The game is going to become a lot easier, and a lot more transitional for them to be able to translate their talents coming from college and moving on to professional. So I just want these guys to remember to stay true to their technique.

How important is unity for your group of guys down in the trenches?

Coach Johnson: It is very important because there's going to get some times when we get into harder games in the thick of it, man, in the fourth quarter, and they're gonna be all they got at that time. When things are getting real bad the quality's not burning, the crowd is loud. And we may be down, those guys are gonna have that unity. You want to be able to pick each other up and carry and lead the offense forward. You know, offensive line is a 'it's a together' thing. They have to block together and anything individual, when it comes down to that, is an automatic fail of mine. So unity is very important.

What In your opinion, are the makings of a great football player? Whether it be attitude? Or pure  athleticism, or anything like that? 

Coach Johnson: I would say the best attribute for an athlete nowadays is just character, man, character and remembering where you came from. And remind yourself of where you're going and understand where you are. A lot of guys forget that aspect of themselves, and they get caught up in the hype and the political stuff of football. And at the end of the day, this is a kid's game, and we're allowed to play it as grown men, which is a blessing. So at the end of the day, enjoy it as a kid, but play it as a grown man. And that's what allows guys to have that mentality to continue to move forward in a mature way to play football.

You mentioned remembering where you came from, where did you come from Coach? 

Coach Gibson: I came from the Cape Fear Heroes coached by Chris McKinney and Terrence Foster, up there in Fayetteville, Arkansas. That was my rookie year, entering the pro level. 

Who is Coach Johnson outside of football? 

Outside of football, Coach Johnson is a very laid-back guy, trying to find the best thing he can to give his gifts in life to anybody else. And I remember everywhere I came from. I'm just a guy that wants to do things the best way I can, through Jesus Christ's name and amen.


The Columbus Lions are members of the National Arena League (NAL). Founded in 2007, the Columbus Lions are starting their 15th season in 2021. The Lions are a 3x league champion and 13 playoff appearances in their rich history. The Lions play their home games at Hughston Field in the Columbus Civic Center. Lions Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now call (706) 322-3336 or visit Follow the Lions on Facebook at, twitter @columbuslions and


The National Arena League was founded in 2016 and hosted its inaugural season in 2017 as the premier league in arena football. The National Arena League will kick off its fifth season in 2021. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner Chris Siegfried at For more information about the NAL visit,,,