But with Johnson, who led Scotland to third in this year's RBS 6 Nations, now installed at the helm it would appear that the foundations are in place to turn Scottish rugby around.
"Johnno [Scott Johnson] has been a popular coach with the players, as underlined by our third place finish in the most recent Six Nations Championship," SRU CEO Mark Dodson said.
"As he's said he enjoys hands-on coaching and his reputation in that role has been enhanced by his work with the Scotland team.
"But he also has other qualities in abundance that we wish to utilise and it was a decision that was made by both parties to get the best structures and systems in place to take Scottish rugby forward. The director of rugby is a hugely important appointment, one that is absolutely integral to Scotland's standing on the world stage in the next decade and beyond.
"This appointment is about laying the foundations as we prepare our teams for the key tests of their status that occur along the way to milestones like the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England the and 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
"Scott will lead on player acquisition and contracting. He'll be responsible for driving a new Academy structure and for heading up our coach development, which includes our priority of nurturing the next generation of Scottish coaches who can operate at elite level.
"Scotland 7s and Scotland Women will also be significant parts of his remit, while two of the pillars of professional rugby, strength and conditioning and medical, will report into him too along with a significant involvement with the national team."