July 16, 1943, is an important year for the NFL; it’s the day when Jimmy Johnson was born in Port Arthur, Texas. Johnson was a college and an American NFL coach. During his coaching career, he was a football coach for teams like Dolphins, Cowboys and Hurricanes. He is considered to be the third greatest football coach in Florida after Bobby Bowden and Don Shula.
Johnson attended Memorial High School, which used to be known as Thomas Jefferson High school during his time. After graduating, he joined the University of Arkansas, where he went on an athletic scholarship to be a defensive end for the college’s football team. His teammates included Jerry Jones, Jim Lindsey and Ken Hatfield.
Johnson graduated in 1965 with a degree in Psychology. He became a coach for the first time that same year at Louisiana Tech with Phil Robertson as the quarterback. Later, he coached one-year stints at Wichita State and Picayune Memorial High School in Picayune.
Coming to Florida
Johnson came to Florida in the year 1983 to coach at the University of Miami after being a coach at Oklahoma State for five seasons. He was the university’s team’s Coach, and under his training, they defeated Oklahoma by winning a national championship in 1987. It was during his tenure that the team was nicknamed the “bad boys” of college football. Some of the notable Hurricane players that Johnson coached include Michael Irvin and Vinny Testaverde.
In 1989, Johnson started coaching the Cowboys, where he reunited with Irvin. While still a coach of the Dallas Cowboys, he was named NFL coach of the year in 1990. The team did well under his leadership since they won the Super Bowl in 1993 among other matches.
Joining Fox Sports
Johnson left the team in 1993 and worked as a TV football analyst with Fox Sports for the next two years. He allegedly left the Cowboys because he was not getting along with its owner Jerry Jones.
Johnson was persuaded to go back to South Florida and coach the Miami Dolphins in 1995 because their coach, Don Shula, was retiring. However, his tenure as the coach of the Miami Dolphins was not very successful, and he was not on good terms with the quarterback star of the team, Dan Marino. Both he and Marino retired in 2000 after the team lost badly to Jacksonville with a 62-7 score during a divisional playoff game.
He went back to Fox Sports and never took up any coaching jobs again. He still lives in the Florida Keys, where he has a bar and a restaurant in Key Largo called “JJ’s Big Chill.” He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012 as a head coach.