Transitioning To New Program – Travis Johansen, Defensive Coordinator, Univ. South Dakota

Transitioning To New Program – Travis Johansen, Defensive Coordinator, Univ. South Dakota

Today’s guest on the Coach and Coordinator podcast is Travis Johansen,entering his second season as defensive coordinator at University of South Dakota. Previously, Johansen served as the defensive coordinator at Grand View since 2013. The Vikings were 61-11 in his six seasons with five conference championships, six NAIA playoff appearances and won 2013 national title following a 14-0 campaign. Grand View finished in the top 15 of the national rankings all six seasons including four top 10 rankings.

Johansen was a finalist for Heart of America Assistant Coach of the Year in each of the last two seasons prior to coming to USD, and was a national coordinator of the year finalist in 2015. He was even featured in a Sports Illustrated article, “The Search to Save NFL Defenses,” this past November. Grand View ranked as one of the top NAIA defenses throughout Johansen’s tenure and produced seven defensive All-Americans.

Coach Johansen joined the podcast today to talk about transition into a new program. He provides insight in what he did from the beginning heading into year two. This episode provides a blue print for taking over a defense in a new program.

Show Notes:
2:58 What it means to be a coordinator
4:11 Understanding the new landscape to get started
7:13 Why were you brought in?
9:05 First task – build the staff
11:20 Getting the staff prepared to coach a new defense
13:24 Understanding the skill sets of coaches
15:40 Listening and learning from the staff
17:46 Process of evaluating the roster and player skill sets
20:35 The first spring install
21:53 Learning and adjustments to the install and player placement
23:05 Setting the stage for what the unit is about/culture
28:07 Installation teaching methods for getting the defense to play fast
29:27 Ironing out the bumps and building to game one
32:13 Playing the game in context; prioritizing what you will see
34:53 What to look for in putting together the depth chart and install for fall camp
37:53 Preparation for going into year two
40:54 Self evaluation as a coach
44:54 Winning edge in transitioning into a new program
47:39 Recruiting areas and contact information


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