|Johns Hopkins athletics photo
Johns Hopkins athletic director Alanna W. Shanahan announced the hiring of Greg Chimera as the university’s head football coach today. Chimera, who has served as the Blue Jays’ offensive coordinator since 2014, becomes the 27th head coach in program history.
- More moves in Coaching Carousel
- Chimera reflects on Jim Margraff's legacy (January D3football.com Podcast)
“Greg Chimera emerged from a talented and diverse pool of candidates as the right person to lead our football program,” Shanahan noted. “He has been a member of the Blue Jay football family for 14 years and has been an instrumental part of the success the program has enjoyed for the last decade. His passion for Johns Hopkins and understanding of the goals and mission of both the university and our football program have long been evident; we look forward to the leadership he will provide our student-athletes as they develop academically and athletically.”
Chimera, who has served as Johns Hopkins’ interim head coach since Margraff’s passing, recently completed his 10th season as a member of the Blue Jay football staff, including his fifth as the team’s offensive coordinator. He originally joined Margraff’s staff not long after completing a four-year playing career at Johns Hopkins (2005-08).
“I would like to thank vice provost of student affairs Kevin Shollenberger, director of athletics Alanna Shanahan, senior associate director of athletics Jen Baker and the search committee for the opportunity to be the head coach at Johns Hopkins University,” Chimera said. “I am humbled and honored to lead such a special program at one of the top universities in the world.”
Johns Hopkins has enjoyed the greatest 10-year run in program history since Chimera joined the staff in 2009. In the 10 seasons since then, Johns Hopkins has posted a 102-17 record, won 10 straight Centennial Conference titles, advanced to the NCAA playoffs nine times and lost a total of eight regular season games.
“We will continue to be a defense-first football team that plays with unmatched energy and an up-tempo, exciting style of offense,” Chimera added. “We are fortunate to have a strong nucleus of talented returning players from last year’s NCAA semifinal team and I am also very excited about our incoming recruiting class.”
The Blue Jays completed the greatest season in school history in 2018 with a 12-2 record, the 10th consecutive Centennial title and the program’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Semifinals. Johns Hopkins, which set a school record with its 12 wins, also earned the program’s first-ever Lambert Cup Trophy in 2018.
Chimera’s offense played a large role in that success as Johns Hopkins averaged 550.3 yards and 45.8 points per game in 2018. Both of those marks are school records and the Blue Jays ranked second in the nation in total offense and sixth in scoring offense. Johns Hopkins’ fast-paced offense ran more plays (1,051) for more yards (7,704) than any other team in the nation on its way to the national semifinals. In fact, the 7,704 yards the Blue Jays generated were 1,027 more than any other Division III team accumulated in 2018.
In his first season as the offensive coordinator in 2014, Johns Hopkins averaged 37.2 points and 434.4 yards per game and scored at least 27 points in 10 of 12 games and 21 or more in all 12 games. Making these numbers even more impressive was the fact that Chimera had a first-year starting quarterback and four new starters on the offensive line to develop. His unit topped even those lofty numbers in 2015 as the Blue Jays set then school records for points (45.7) and yards (505.8) per game while producing the Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
The 2016 team set then school records for total yards (6,121), yards per game (510.1), passing yards (4,106) and touchdown passes (37). In addition, eight offensive players earned All-Centennial Conference honors, including four who grabbed first team accolades.
The 2017 Blue Jays enjoyed another highly-productive season as Johns Hopkins averaged 39.5 points and 505.7 yards per game. The Blue Jays produced the Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Year and scored at least 28 points in 10 of 11 games. That set the stage for a record-breaking 2018 season as the accomplishments of 2017 were accomplished by a relatively young group of skill-position players.
“Our goal is to continue performing at an elite level on and off the field, just as we did under coach Margraff,” Chimera stated. “Learning from him for the last 10 years has prepared me for this opportunity; he left a lasting impact on the program and I will be reminded and motivated daily by the lessons learned from a legend.
Chimera’s grooming for the offensive coordinator position came during a five-year period that jump-started the most successful era in school history.
As a position coach from 2009-13, Chimera coached two all-conference running backs in Andrew Kase (2009) and Jonathan Rigaud (2011, 2012), one all-conference tight end in Brian Hopkins (2009) and one all-conference wide receiver (Dan Wodicka, 2013). Kase and Rigaud rank as the top two rushers in school history with more than 7,500 yards and 80 touchdowns between them.
In his first season as a member of the staff in 2009, he helped guide the Blue Jays to a 10-3 record, the Centennial Conference Championship and a trip to the NCAA quarterfinals. That year, he worked closely with Kase, who earned Centennial Offensive Player of the Year honors and finished his career as JHU’s career leader in rushing.
Chimera then groomed Rigaud, who capped his career in 2012 by earning D3football.com All-America and Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors with more than 1,500 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns.
Chimera played fullback and was a regular on special teams throughout his career at Johns Hopkins. He paved the way over his last two years for Kase to top 1,000 rushing yards in each season. Chimera scored five touchdowns in his career and started 16 games over his final two seasons.
Chimera graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2009 with a degree in psychological and brain sciences and a minor in entrepreneurship and management and was named to the National Football Foundation’s Hampshire Honor Society as a senior.