Jan. 21, 2009
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State football assistant coach John Rushing is leaving USU to join the Green Bay Packers staff. Rushing spent six seasons at Utah State, where he has coached the cornerbacks as well as the punt return squad.
"Coach Rushing sees this as a good opportunity. Every coach has great interest to coach at the NFL level so this was a chance that John just couldn't pass up," USU head football coach Gary Andersen said of Rushing, who was the lone assistant retained by Andersen when he was named the Aggies' new head coach in December. "I'd never hold someone back from moving up in the professional ranks. We're sad to lose him and we wish him the best at the next level."
Rushing is familiar with the Packers' organization, as last summer he was selected to be a participant in the National Football League's Minority Internship Program with Green Bay. Established in 1987, the Minority Coaching Fellowship Programs provides NFL training-camp positions to minority coaches every year.
In Green Bay, Rushing will be re-uniting with Packers' cornerback Jarrett Bush, who Rushing coached at USU in 2004-2005. Under Rushing's tutelage, Bush was a first-team all-WAC cornerback in 2005 and also ranked sixth in the NCAA in passes defended that season with 1.36 per game.
Rushing has spent the past six seasons working with the Aggie secondary. In 2003 he worked closely with Mark Estelle, who was USU's defensive MVP and played in the Rotary Gridiron Classic. In 2004, the Aggie secondary was involved in the team allowing just 202.55 passing yards per game, which ranked 42nd in the nation. That season, Rushing coached Freshman All-American Terrance Washington. This past season he coached cornerbacks Roy Hurst, Kejon Murphy, who had two interceptions apiece and ranked ninth and 10th respectively for USU and third and fourth among defensive backs with 35 and 30 tackles, respectively.
Rushing grew up in Merced, Calif., and attended Merced High School. He graduated from Washington State with a degree in sociology in 1995 and finished a master's degree through Boise State in 2005. Rushing was a four-year starter as a defensive back at Washington State and set a school record by starting 46 games. He earned honorable mention all-Pac 10 honors as a freshman and again as a sophomore. In 1991, he was named to The Sporting News Freshman All-America team.
Rushing's younger brother Kevin Robinson was an All-American wide receiver and returner at USU from 2003-07, before getting drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth-round of the NFL Draft.
Utah State finished the 2008 season with a 3-9 overall and 3-5 WAC record, marking the first time since 2005 that the Aggies have three wins in a season. USU won three WAC games in a season for the first time in the Aggies' four seasons in the league. It is also the first time since 2003 that USU won three conference games and just the third time in the 2000's.
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