Miami football legend Jimmy Johnson talks differences between College and NFL

Aug 5, 2017; Canton, OH, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 5, 2017; Canton, OH, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Less than a month before he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, legendary Miami head coach Jimmy Johnson spoke to reporters about the difference between coaching in college and the NFL. Johnson was 29-25 in five seasons at Oklahoma State before being hired to lead the Miami football program in 1983.

Johnson succeeded Howard Schnellenberger who led Miami to the 1983 National Championship. Johnson took the program to another level. After finishing 8-5 in the first season under Johnson, the Hurricanes went 44-4 in his final four seasons with the Hurricanes from 1985-1988. Miami won the 1987 National Championship.

Johnson spoke about what new Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer will face as he embarks on his first season in the NFL. Meyer led Florida to two National Championships and Ohio State to one in a College Football Hall of Fame career. Johnson became the first head coach to win college and NFL titles.

Johnson won Superbowls XXVII and XXVIII following the 1992 and 1993 seasons. Barry Switzer succeeded Johnson with the Dallas Cowboys. Switzer became the second head coach to win a collegiate National Championship and led Dallas to a Superbowl XXX title. Pete Carroll later led USC and the Seattle Seahawks to titles.

"“There’s not a world of difference, there’s a galaxy of difference…As a college coach, I was a mentor, I was kind of a father figure, I did a tremendous amount of counseling with the players.They were young kids that had left home for the first time in their life, all the pressures of getting that college education, the pressures of the girlfriend, the pressures of living away from their family.So my relationship with the players was a heckuva lot different than professional players, who are really – they’re dictated by financial reasons, it’s a business, their agents are influencing them – so it’s a completely different relationship. I didn’t even need to show up, we (with Miami) had so much talent“You’re gonna have to be at your best for maybe three games a year (in college). It’s really a different world, professional football.”"

The talent the Miami football team had for most of the period that began in 1983 and extended for 20 years was unprecedented. Only Alabama has been able to come close to matching the players the Miami football team could put on the field during that era. It has often been said the culture was passed down through the players.

Next. Johnson approach in Dallas applied with Miami. dark

Johnson grasped the differences between college and NFL players and was able to reach both groups to win championships. Johnson was a dynamic leader who was a brilliant talent evaluator on both levels. Johnson is often given credit for making Miami the program is became winning three more national titles after he left.