CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ This time Les Robinson hired Ellis Johnson.

The former Alabama defensive coordinator was passed over when Robinson was looking for a coach at North Carolina State last year. But Robinson, who came to The Citadel in September, said he knew Johnson was the right coach for the military college.

``I coached him here in basketball 25 years ago,'' Robertson said Thursday after he hired Johnson. ``He really understands the school and knows its mission.''

Johnson, 49, replaces Don Powers, who was fired a month ago after consecutive 2-9 seasons.

``Sometimes things just happen in a timely fashion,'' said Johnson, who was let go after Dennis Franchione became the Crimson Tide's coach. ``I think things might have happened this way for me so I could get this job.''

Johnson, a defensive end for the Bulldogs from 1971-75, said he's up for the challenges of recruiting players that have to meet the military school's strict standards.

``The pool is narrower, so that keeps down some roadwork and legwork,'' Johnson said. ``You find guys that want to play and want to go to class.''