Kevin Johns spent seven seasons as a full-time Northwestern assistant, five as the Wildcats' wide receivers coach. He coached Northwestern's running backs in 2004 and 2005. Johns also was appointed the program's recruiting coordinator in July of 2006, a position he held until January of 2008 when he assumed the role of passing game coordinator.
Johns left Northwestern following the 2010 season when he was named the wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator at Indiana on Jan. 4, 2011.
Johns' tenure as passing game coordinator was spectacular. Guiding a very experienced group of wide receivers in 2008 (three starters and four receivers overall were seniors), Johns' unit combined to catch 15 touchdowns on the year. Senior Eric Peterman led the Wildcats with 737 receiving yards and six touchdowns to earn All-Big Ten honorable mention honors. Peterman, along with classmate Ross Lane, both closed their careers with 2,000-plus receiving yards each and rank in the top 10 at NU in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
With a much younger group in 2009, Johns molded his squad to similar success. All-Big Ten honoree Zeke Markshausen ranked second in the Big Ten and 13th in the nation in catches per game, hauling in 91 total after entering the year with only one previous career catch. Andrew Brewer tied for second in NU single-season history with nine touchdown catches while averaging a whopping 16.2 yards per catch. He and Sidney Stewart each had more than 40 receptions in 2009. Their performances helped the Wildcats rank first in the Big Ten and 13th nationally in passing offense.
In 2010, Johns coached a Wildcat to All-Big Ten accolades for the third-straight season, mentoring junior Jeremy Ebert to a first-team selection from the media and an honorable mention nod from the coaches. Ebert led the Big Ten in receiving yards per game and was part of a corps with hands so great they helped quarterback Dan Persa set a Big Ten record with a 73.5 completion percentage.
Before returning to Northwestern as a full-time coach just prior to the 2003 Motor City Bowl, Johns worked as the receivers coach at the University of Richmond for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Johns served as Northwestern's offensive graduate assistant for three seasons from 1999-2001 prior to accepting the Spiders' full-time coaching position.
In 2006, Johns tutored All-Big Ten (honorable mention) wide receiver Shaun Herbert. Herbert ended his career fourth on NU's all-time receptions list with 168. He led the squad with 47 catches his final season.
Johns' wide receiver corps in 2007 was one of the deepest for NU in recent memory. Junior Eric Peterman earned a Rivals.com All-Big Ten nod after leading the squad with 66 catches for 744 yards, the seventh-best single-season reception total in NU history. For the first time in school history, four players finished the year with 45 or more receptions.
In his first two seasons as NU's running backs coach, Johns helped mentor Noah Herron, who earned second-team All-Big Ten honors, and then Tyrell Sutton, the 2005 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the 2005 Sporting News' National Offensive Freshman of the Year. Herron was the nation's 14th-leading rusher (115.1 ypg) and a Senior Bowl invitee in 2004. He was later drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sutton shattered every freshman running back mark at Northwestern en route to the eighth-best rushing season in Division I-A (122.8 ypg).
Johns originally came to Evanston from the University of Dayton where he was a two-year starter at quarterback for the Flyers. In his two-year stint as a starter, Dayton recorded a 20-1 record and Johns was named a Division I-AA All-American. After his junior season, he was named the Division I-AA Non-Scholarship Offensive Player of the Year. Johns was also named team MVP in 1996 and 1997.
Johns graduated from Dayton with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics in 1998. In August 2001, he received his master's degree from Northwestern's School of Education and Social Policy program.
Johns and his wife Krista welcomed their third boy, Carter, in April of 2007. They have twin sons, Logan and Tyler, born in December of 2004.