Ex-Guertin coach Tony Johnson reboots
Tony Johnson built Nashua’s Bishop Guertin into a six-time NHIAA Division II football champion using a specific philosophy: Speed kills.
Johnson, who stepped down last spring as BG athletics director, is adopting the same approach at Worcester (Mass.) Academy of the New England Prep School Athletic Council.
“Everything we developed at Bishop Guertin was predicated on speed. That’s the primary emphasis down here. You can be 300 pounds. That’s great. But I need you quick. Our overall team speed is very, very good,” said Johnson, who makes his debut with the Hilltoppers in Saturday’s 6 p.m. season-opener against visiting Phillips Exeter Academy.
Similar to his early days at Guertin, Johnson said he is rebuilding Worcester’s program. Many of the athletes from last year’s team are no longer on the roster.
It isn’t the only common denominator.
Johnson, at the helm for BG from 1994-2010, installed his signature spread-option offense. He said the players are quickly learning the system, and credits his assistant coaches for helping teach it.
“It’s a complicated system ... and you don’t have that much time to put it in. You don’t get a lot of double sessions in the prep market,” said Johnson, noting more than half of his assistants are holdovers from former head coach David Dykeman, who ran a pro-style offense.
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