The San Francisco 49ers announced today the hiring of Jimmy Raye as offensive coordinator and Mike Johnson as quarterbacks coach. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
Raye brings over 30 years of NFL coaching experience to the 49ers, which includes previous offensive coordinator stints with the Los Angeles Rams (1983-84, 1991), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1985-86), New England Patriots (1990), Kansas City Chiefs (1998-2000), Washington Redskins (2001) and Oakland Raiders (2004-05).
Raye spent the past three seasons as the running backs coach for the New York Jets. Under his guidance, RB Thomas Jones produced two consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons. In 2008, the nine-year veteran earned his first career Pro Bowl nod after rushing for 1,312 yards and 15 touchdowns. A year prior, Jones rushed for 1,119 yards on the ground in his first season with the Jets. Raye's 2006 coaching effort helped then rookie RB Leon Washington rank fourth in rushing among rookies with 650 yards and four touchdowns. Combined with the totals from Kevan Barlow and Cedric Houston, the 2006 Jets running backs platoon produced 1,394 yards and 15 touchdowns.
From 2004 to 2005, Raye served as assistant head coach/offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders. Under Raye's tutelage, the Raiders ranked 10th in the NFL in passing in 2005 (223.9 ypg) after finishing eighth in passing a year prior (241.1 ypg).
Raye's initial stint with the Jets was from 2002 to 2003. In his second year with the team, Raye served as assistant head coach/senior offensive assistant under then head coach Herm Edwards. In 2002, Raye, as a senior offensive assistant, helped a young offensive coaching staff (five coaches with three years or less NFL coaching experience) produce an offense that ranked seventh in the NFL in yards per play.
Prior to joining the Jets, Raye spent one season as the Washington Redskins offensive coordinator in 2001. That season, the Redskins finished eighth in the NFL in rushing (121.8 ypg), while ranking sixth in the league for fewest interceptions thrown (13). RB Stephen Davis' 1,432 rushing yards were good for third highest in the NFL.
Before working with the Redskins, Raye spent eight years with Kansas City (1992-2000) in various coaching capacities. From 1998 to 2000, Raye served as the team's offensive coordinator. Under his guidance in 2000, the Chiefs ranked eighth in the NFL in total offense (350.9 ypg) and fourth in passing (259.3 ypg). A year prior, Kansas City finished fourth in the NFL in rushing (130.1 ypg), tied for eighth in points scored (24.4 ppg) and ranked 12th in total offense (332.6 ypg). The 390 points marked the third-highest scoring output in team history and its most prolific in 32 years.
From 1993 to 1997, Raye coached running backs for the Chiefs. From 1995 to 1997, the unit ranked as the third best rushing attack in the NFL, averaging 136.0 yards per game. The Chiefs led the league in rushing in 1995, averaging 138.9 yards per game as the team went 13-3 and won the AFC West. While working with the Chiefs' backs, Raye helped revitalize the career of Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, who rushed for 3,698 yards and a club record 44 touchdowns in four years under his guidance. In 1992, Raye joined Kansas City as the offensive assistant/tight ends coach.
Prior to joining the Chiefs, Raye served as the offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams (1983-84, 1991), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1985-86) and New England Patriots (1990). While overseeing those offenses, Raye displayed a penchant for maximizing productivity in the running game. The Rams ranked second in the NFL in rushing in 1984, as Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson became only the second player to top the 2,000-yard rushing mark with an NFL record 2,105 yards. In Raye's two seasons with Tampa Bay, James Wilder reigned as one of the league's top all-purpose threats, combining for 96 pass receptions and 2,004 rushing yards (1985-86). In 1991, the Rams finished seventh in the NFL in passing (225.6 ypg) under Raye's guidance.
Raye also has an extensive background as an instructor in the passing game, serving two stints as Atlanta's wide receivers coach (1987-89, 1980-82) and holding the same position with the Rams in 1983. From 1978 to 1979, he coached running backs for the Detroit Lions after entering the pro coaching ranks in 1977 as the San Francisco 49ers wide receivers coach.
Raye was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 16th round of the 1968 NFL Draft and was converted from a quarterback to defensive back before being traded to the Eagles. As a quarterback at Michigan State, Raye enjoyed a stellar career, leading the Spartans to two Big Ten titles and a 1966 Rose Bowl appearance.
Johnson joins the 49ers after serving as the Baltimore Ravens wide receivers coach from 2006 to 2007. At Baltimore, he helped 12-year veteran receiver Derrick Mason record his then-sixth 1,000 -yard receiving season in 2007. Mason tallied 1,087 yards on 103 receptions with five touchdowns, leading the team in all receiving categories. A year prior, WR Mark Clayton developed into the Ravens top deep threat and playmaker, posting three touchdowns of 62 or more yards in 2006.
Prior to joining Baltimore, Johnson spent three years as the quarterbacks coach with the Atlanta Falcons, tutoring three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Michael Vick. Vick put up 2,412 passing yards and 15 touchdowns, while ranking second on the team with 597 rushing yards and six touchdowns. In 2004, Vick became the first NFL quarterback to throw for more than 250 yards and run for more than 100 yards in a single game (at Denver, 10-31-2004). In 2003, Interim Head Coach Wade Phillips asked Johnson to call the Falcons offensive plays for the final two games of the season. In those two contests, Vick compiled his second-highest quarterback rankings of the year (119.2 at Tampa Bay, 12-20-03, and 93.0 vs. Jacksonville, 12-28-03). In 2002, Johnson guided a young receiving corps that included WR Brian Finneran, who had the best year of his career, recording 838 yards on 56 receptions and six touchdowns.
From 2000 to 2001, Johnson served as the quarterbacks coach for the San Diego Chargers. Under Johnson's guidance, Doug Flutie amassed career-highs with 3,464 yards passing and 294 completions in 2001. Flutie's passing yards that season were the most for a Chargers quarterback since Dan Fouts put up 3,638 yards in 1985. During the 2001 campaign, Flutie threw for more than 300 yards on four occasions.
Johnson coached quarterbacks at Oregon State in 1999 after serving as the Beavers wide receivers coach from 1997 to 1998.
Johnson played five pro seasons as a quarterback, beginning his career as a rookie free agent with the Arizona Cardinals in 1990. After being released as part of the team's final cuts of training camp that season, Johnson played two years for the San Antonio Riders of the World League. Johnson moved to the Canadian Football league in 1992 and quarterbacked the British Columbia Lions for two seasons. From 1994 to 1995, he quarterbacked the CFL's Shreveport Pirates for his final two pro playing years.
Johnson was the backup quarterback at ASU from 1985 to 1986, but then transferred to Mesa Community College, where he became a Junior College All-American in 1987. Johnson then transferred to the University of Akron for two years (1988-89) and was named Akron's Athlete of the Year in 1990.