BOZEMAN — Montana State named Al Johnson its next offensive line coach on Friday.
Johnson comes to MSU from FBS Wisconsin, where he coached running backs last fall. Johnson was a starting center for the Badgers from 2000-02, where he earned second-team All-Big 10 and third-team All-America honors as a senior.
Johnson's other coaching credentials include a two-year stint as an assistant offensive line coach at NCAA Division III St. Norbert in Wisconsin (2014-15). He returned to Wisconsin in 2016 for two seasons as an assistant offensive line coach before becoming the head coach a D-II East Central in Oklahoma in 2018. He returned to Wisconsin again as running backs coach in 2022.
He was owner-operator of the Al Johnson Line Camp and launched his coaching career as offensive coordinator at his former high school (Southern Door in Brussels, Wis.) in 2013.
Johnson also played in the NFL — four seasons with the Cowboys (2003-06), two with the Cardinals (2007-08), and one each with the Dolphins (part of 2008) and Patriots (2009).
Johnson takes over at MSU for Brian Armstrong, who recently departed to become the offensive line coach at FBS Fresno State.
"Al's experience as a player both at Wisconsin and in the NFL excites me," Bobcats coach Brent Vigen stated in a press release, "and his varied coaching experience at the college level makes him uniquely qualified. He's a very good teacher and has proven to be a really good recruiter at different levels. I'm excited to add the sum total of his experience to our staff."
The Bobcats have consistently boasted one of the top offensive lines in the FCS in recent years. The Bobcats led the Big Sky in rushing the last three seasons, finishing in the top 10 in the FCS each of those years.
An MSU offensive lineman has earned All-America honors in five of the past seven seasons, including Rush Reimer in 2022.