Taver Johnson will be Temple’s new defensive coordinator, the program announced Wednesday.
Johnson arrives in Philadelphia from Purdue, where he served as defensive backs coach from 2014-16. Prior to that, Johnson spent two years on the defensive staff at Arkansas.
“Taver Johnson is an outstanding coach, a relentless recruiter and a positive role model for his players,” new Owls head coach Geoff Collins said in a statement. “He has experience coaching several positions throughout his career and has excelled at every university he’s been a part of. What I like most about him is his passion for the game and his love for the players he coaches. He really stood out in this process as a man who fit into the beliefs, philosophies and overall mentality that is Temple Football.”
Johnson — and Collins, who, as a former defensive coordinator, will surely keep a close eye on that side of the ball — take over one of the best defenses in college football. The Owls finished the ’16 season ranked sixth nationally in yards per play allowed, third in total defense and 11th in scoring defense in route to their first American Athletic Conference championship.
At Purdue, Johnson’s unit ranked 99th nationally in pass efficiency defense, permitting a 59.4 percent completion rate on 7.9 yards per attempt with 22 touchdowns allowed against 12 interceptions.