Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Johnny Nansen announced as Texas’ new co-defensive coordinator, linebacker coach

Lorianne Willett
Texas football coach Steve Sarkisian during the Longhorns’ game against BYU on Oct. 28, 2023.

Johnny Nansen, Arizona’s defensive coordinator, is set to join the Texas staff as co-defensive coordinator and linebacker coach for the 2024 season.

Texas made the news official Saturday evening and will replace assistant Jeff Chaote who has accepted the head coach role for Nevada.

Forty-nine-year-old Nansen started his collegiate coaching career in 1999 as a graduate assistant at Louisville and went on to coach defensive positions at Montana State, Idaho, Washington, USC, UCLA and Arizona.

Besides coaching, Nansen was a linebacker at Washington State and graduated in 1997.

Nansen said it was an easy decision when he got the call from Longhorn head coach Steve Sarkisian about coming to Texas.

It’s a dream come true to work at a place like Texas,” Nansen said. “And reuniting with (Sarkisian) is a big part of it, too.” 

During his time at Washington, 2009-2013, he took on several different roles and even coached under Sarkisian, who was head coach of the Huskies during the same time period. The two even moved to USC to coach for the 2014 season together. 

Nansen also has coaching ties to Texas’ other co-defensive coordinator, Pete Kwiatkowski, who also coached at Washington. The two colleagues also shared one season at Montana State in 2000.

The new addition to the Texas coaching staff will be a huge help to Texas’ defense. In Nansen’s first season with the Wildcats in 2022, Arizona forced 16 turnovers in comparison to 10 from the previous season, as well as winning four more games. 

In his most recent season, Nansen helped the team achieve a 10–3 record, which is one of the four teams in the history of the program to win 10 games or more. He was also a big help to Arizona’s defensive recruitment process, signing 16 players on signing day from the 2023 recruiting class.

“Have you seen what this guy has done with this defense?” Arizona offensive coordinator Brennan Carroll said during the 2023 season. “What Johnny has been able to do in year two is unreal.” 

With his over 20 year collegiate coaching career and numerous accomplishments, Texas will use his experience to help boost their defensive side. Sarkisian believes that he will be an asset for the future of Longhorn football.

“Johnny is a guy I’ve known for a long time, and I have so much respect for. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience, is highly regarded in our business,” Sarkisian said. “He’s a high-energy coach who does a great job developing his players and getting the best out of them.”


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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.