The winningest coach in Orange County history is stepping aside at the end of the 2017 season, leaving a lifetime of history and a family penchant for producing elite quarterbacks in his wake.
Mission Viejo (Cal.) football coach Bob Johnson announced Monday that he plans to step down from his role at the end of the season. Johnson has spent 18 seasons as the Mission Viejo head coach, racking up the most recent of his 339 career coaching victories. He joined Mission Viejo after runs at El Toro and Los Amigos High Schools, respectively.
As noted by the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Sondheimer, Johnson may be most well known for his quarterback progeny. Both his sons Bret and Rob went on to collegiate quarterback careers and at least a cup of coffee in the NFL. Bret was a quarterback at both UCLA and Michigan State before spending multiple seasons with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts and a short stint with the Atlanta Falcons.
Younger brother Rob Johnson spent his college career at USC, where he led the Trojans to a Cotton Bowl title in 1995. He was a fourth round draft pick in the 1995 NFL Draft and went on to play for six different NFL franchises in an eight-year career that included a Super Bowl ring as the backup quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII. He has served as an assistant coach for his father since 2004.
To round out the family at, Bret’s son Brock was a star quarterback at Mission Viejo for his grandfather, graduating and attending Georgetown, where he was a freshman quarterback for the Division I FCS Hoyas. He transferred after his freshman season and is now a quarterback at UC Davis. Mark Sanchez, Jordan Palmer and current Boston College quarterback Matt McDonald are among other great quarterbacks to play for Bob Johnson.
“I still got it (coaching) in me … but it’s time,” Johnson told the Orange County Register. “My time is spent and I’m going to enjoy some stuff with my wife (Debbie) and do things we haven’t had a chance to do … Just time to depart, and we’re going to be good next year again.
“I’ve had a great run. I’ve been blessed with great coaches beside me and with me, and it’s just been a great time with my two sons coaching as well. .. It’s been a family deal. It really has. All the way through.”