Bobby Johnson is not someone who just happened to be in the news because of his retirement. Coach Johnson has been around college football for 40 years.
His path has intersected with longtime college fans over the decades, perhaps without many realizing it.
Bobby Johnson was a defensive back at Clemson in the early 1970s. He was in school the final year of the legendary coach Frank Howard but played his football for former Alabama defensive back Hootie Ingram.
Ingram was quite a teacher of playing the corner, having intercepted 11 passes in the 1953 season. He passed along that knowledge to Johnson, who led Clemson in interceptions during the 1971 and '72 seasons.
A visionary leader, Ingram created the actual "Tiger Paw" still used by Clemson, and went on to become athletic director at Florida State and Alabama.
After his playing days in Death Valley, Johnson became a longtime assistant coach at Furman University. He spent many seasons under the watchful eye of headman Dick Sheridan, who later left for N.C. State.
When Johnson became head coach at Furman, he took the Paladins to the national championship game in 2001, losing to Montana 13-6.
Along the way, in '01, Furman defeated arch-rival and close friend Paul Johnson's powerful Georgia Southern Eagles in the semifinals.
Following that season, both Johnsons left for "major college" positions, Paul at The Naval Academy and Bobby at Vanderbilt.
Interestingly enough, the Johnsons met for what appears to be the final time just last year in Nashville. Paul, by now the top man at Ga. Tech and headed for the ACC Championship, overwhelmed Bobby's courageous Commodores by the final count of 56-31.
The more things change.