RICHMOND, Ind. -- Nick Johnson has decided to step down from his position as Earlham
College’s head football coach at the end of the season in order to better attend to
the needs of his family. 

Johnson, a 2001 graduate, will remain at Earlham assisting with student-athlete
development for the Department of Athletics. He also will support the work of
Institutional Advancement by drawing on his experience with students, parents and
alumni to foster and grow relationships between these constituencies and the
College. He will assume his new responsibilities on April 1, 2019, after being
granted a paid sabbatical. 

Senior Director of Athletics Julie Kline said that information about future
leadership for the football program will be forthcoming after the conclusion of the

Johnson has been a coach in the Earlham athletics program since 2001, serving as
head track and field coach for 12 years, and an assistant football coach from
2003-12. He became head football coach in 2015. Under his tutelage, Earlham football
players have earned 23 HCAC honors and awards. 

“It has been a great honor to coach and mentor these young men and to serve my alma
mater,” said Johnson. “It’s become clear to me, however, that I can’t be 100 percent
effective both as a head coach and as a husband and father, particularly as my wife
continues to confront serious health concerns.” 

His wife, Melissa “Mel” (Liffick) Johnson ’03, is a former Quakers women’s
basketball coach. She has faced a variety of illnesses, undergoing several surgeries
and spending long stretches in hospitals. The couple has two young children. 

“Nick is a tremendous asset to Earlham, and I am very pleased that he will continue
to work at the College in this new student- and alumni-focused role,” said Interim
President Avis Stewart. 

“This change in roles for Nick will help us to better address the needs of
student-athletes,” Kline said. “I am grateful to Nick for his leadership of the
football program these past four years, and I look forward to working with him in
his new capacity.” 

Vice President of Institutional Advancement Kristin Champa added, “Nick is well
known and respected among Earlham alumni and our friends in the local community. We
look forward to the perspective and experience he will bring to his new role in
alumni relations.” 

Johnson’s final game as head football coach will be on Nov. 10 , as the Quakers play
at Rose - Hulman.