As late as Tuesday night, numerous Vandy staffers had no inkling of Johnson’s plans. On Wednesday morning at about 10 Central time, though, Johnson told staffers he was retiring.
“I tried to talk him out of it yesterday,” said Vandy vice chancellor David Williams, who oversees the athletic department.
“I tried to talk him out of it last night. I tried to talk him out of it this morning. It is a personal decision. We at Vanderbilt wish that wasn’t his decision, but we respect his decision.”
The timing of the resignation basically left Vandy officials no choice but to promote an assistant — offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell to serve as interim coach.