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STATE COLLEGE, Pa.; February 6, 2001 -- Penn State assistant football coach Larry Johnson, who won three state titles as a prep coach, has been selected for induction into the Maryland High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Johnson, the Nittany Lions' defensive line coach, will be inducted into the Hall on Saturday, February 10. The ceremony will take place at PSINet Stadium in Baltimore, home of the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, who are co-sponsors of the dinner. Two other coaches, John Buchheister and Fred Shepherd, also will be inducted into the Hall.
Johnson joined the Penn State staff in March 1996 after a highly-successful prep coaching career in Maryland and Virginia. He served as the Nittany Lions' defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator from 1996-99 and this past season coached the defensive line.
In each of the past three seasons, Johnson has worked with a player who was named first team All-Big Ten and winner of the Hall Foundation Award as Penn State's Senior MVP: Brad Scioli (1998), Courtney Brown (1999) and Justin Kurpeikis (2000). Scioli plays for the National Football League's Indianapolis Colts, while Brown was the first selection in the 2000 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns and a consensus first team All-American in '99.
From Williamston, N.C., Johnson was the head coach at McDonough High School in Pomfret, Md., for 19 years, a period during which his teams won three Maryland State Championships and forged an impressive record of 139-36. Among the players he coached at McDonough was former Nittany Lion linebacker Jim Nelson, who played for the Minnesota Vikings this past season.
A six-time Washington, D.C. Area Coach-of-the-Year at McDonough, Johnson's teams were ranked among the top scholastic squads in the Washington Metropolitan Area from 1983-1991 and were No. 1 in 1990 when Johnson captured one of his three state championships. McDonough also won Maryland titles in 1983 and 1985 and was state runner-up in 1991.
In an eight-year period from 1983-91, McDonough High logged an outstanding 82-10 record, made eight consecutive appearances in the state playoffs and was 8-2 overall in championship action. Johnson also was athletic director and track coach at McDonough.
Johnson became the head coach at T. C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., in 1992 and stayed for two seasons before accepting a position as assistant principal at LaPlata, Md., High School where he served until accepting the Penn State position.
Johnson was a standout linebacker at Elizabeth City, N.C., State University where he earned NAIA All-America honors and was an All-CIAA selection. After graduation, he signed as a free agent linebacker with the Washington Redskins and played one season (1973) before embarking on a coaching career as an assistant at Lackey High School in LaPlata, Md.
Johnson and his wife, Christine, have two sons, Larry, Jr., and Tony, both of whom are members of the Nittany Lion football squad. Larry will be a redshirt junior tailback in the fall, while Tony will be a sophomore wide receiver. Tony's twin sister, Teresa, is a freshman third baseman on the Penn State softball team.