Paul Johnson speaks his mind on a must-listen podcast

August 4, 2016 Atlanta - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson shares a smile with Andy McCollum (foreground), Safeties/Recruiting Coordinator, during the first day of practice at Rose Bowl Field in Georgia Tech campus on Thursday, August 4, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM


Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson visited with AJC columnist Jeff Schultz and WSB sports anchor Zach Klein for their “We Never Played the Game” podcast, and it’s Johnson at his unvarnished best.

A few snippets – Johnson tells the story from when he threatened a referee while coaching high school basketball. “I said, ‘You call another technical foul on me, you’re going to have to read the paper to find out who won because I’m going to knock you out.’”

His take on coaches reputed to be good recruiters when usually it’s the school that recruits itself: “When’s the last time the University of Georgia didn’t have a top-10 recruiting class? So Coach (Vince) Dooley was a great recruiter, Ray Goff was a great recruiter, Jim Donnan was a great recruiter, Mark Richt’s a great recruiter, Kirby Smart’s a great recruiter. Who was a bad one? Because I don’t remember them having a coach when they weren’t top 10.”

On Al Groh, whom Johnson called “a good guy” and “a smart guy”: “We gave up the most points in the history of the school. They’ve been playing for a long time. And I tried to make a couple of suggestions and it was like, Go away. I’m like, I’m not going to be the guy who goes away.”

Also covered – the media, his family, Mike Bobinski, George W. Bush and more. Well worth the listen.

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