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Eastern Michigan hires former NFL, Big Ten and SEC assistant

Taver Johnson, who has experience in the Big Ten, SEC, and at Notre Dame, has accepted a position on the EMU staff.

Taver Johnson has spent the past three seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders, and has previous experience in the Big Ten, SEC, MAC, Notre Dame and the small college level.

Today, Eastern Michigan and Chris Creighton announced the addition of Johnson as their new defensive pass game coordinator and safeties coach.

He steps in during a difficult time for the program, as the program mourns the loss of Fred Reed, who passed away on May 8th.

Creighton noted the uniqueness of the situation, having to hire a new coach to step in for a close friend like Reed after his passing.

"This continues to be a very difficult time both personally and professionally," Creighton shared in the school's release. "I have never been through this before with a coach and family on our staff, and I pray I never do it again. It is good to be together during the grieving process and I know celebrating his life on June 15 will be another much-needed time together with family and friends. Sprinkled in with the sadness and pain have been some glimpses of light."

"Thinking about the need to find a new coach has felt wrong, uncomfortable, and seemingly impossible. Thankfully, through the natural course of coaches who knew Fred reaching out to offer their condolences, we found the right fit. We thought it would be ideal if we could find a candidate who knew Fred, and had significant relevant coaching experience along with the maturity, sensitivity, and emotional intelligence to be able to come into this very complicated situation. Coach Johnson is this person and he really wants to be here. He will join us in honoring Coach Reed, as we give everything we have to make this program and this team the very best it can be both on and off the field."

Johnson started off as an assistant defensive backs coach with the Raiders before moving to the offensive side of the ball as an offensive assistant working with the running backs. He also spent time on Urban Meyer's staff at Ohio State after serving as defensive coordinator at Temple, where his unit was among the best in the country at disrupting the quarterback.

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