Johnson Named Head Men's Basketball Coach
April 9, 2012
TCU director of intercollegiate athletics Chris Del Conte has announced the hiring of Trent Johnson as head men's basketball coach.
Johnson becomes the 21st head coach in the history of the Horned Frog men's basketball program.
Johnson arrives at TCU from LSU, where he served the last four seasons as head coach of the Tigers. He previously held head coaching positions at Stanford (2004-08) and Nevada (1999-2004). A veteran program builder, he has guided his teams to eight postseason appearances, including five NCAA Tournaments, in 13 seasons. Two of his squads (Nevada, 2003-04; Stanford, 2007-08) reached the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament.
A 1983 graduate of Boise State, Johnson owns a 226-185 career record with winning tenures at each of his previous three coaching stops. He has been named coach of the year in all three conferences in which he has coached: the Western Athletic Conference (2002-03), Pac-10 (2007-08) and Southeastern Conference (2008-09).
"We are very proud to welcome Trent Johnson to the TCU family," TCU director of intercollegiate athletics Chris Del Conte said. "With our move to the Big 12, he is a perfect fit to lead us into a new era of Horned Frog basketball. Trent is a proven winner who has taken two different schools to the Sweet 16. It's incredibly rewarding to see how excited Trent is to be part of TCU and the momentum we have on campus.
"From his time at Stanford, Trent has a great appreciation and understanding of a private institution. We were impressed with the interest we had in our search process and have no doubt we've hit a home run for the TCU and Fort Worth communities with Trent Johnson as our head men's basketball coach."
Johnson took over the reins of the LSU program prior to the 2008-09 campaign and posted a 67-64 record in four seasons. In his first year at LSU, he led the Tigers to a 27-8 overall record, tied for the third-most wins in a season in program history, while the squad won the SEC regular-season championship with a 13-3 conference mark. LSU returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006, advancing to the second round before falling to North Carolina. In the opening round, LSU defeated nationally-ranked Butler one year prior to the Bulldogs starting their run of two straight trips to the NCAA Championship game.
The Tigers' outstanding first season under Johnson helped him to be named the consensus 2008-09 SEC Coach of the Year, while he was a finalist for four national coach of the year honors. He became the first LSU men's basketball coach to win the league title and take the team to postseason play in his first year at the school.
Johnson led the Tigers to an 18-15 overall record and an NIT first-round appearance this past season. The squad featured a pair of All-SEC performers, including center Justin Hamilton, a second-team selection, and guard Anthony Hickey, who was named to the All-Freshman Team.
"I would like to thank TCU's Board of Trustees, specifically Clarence Scharbauer and Rick Wittenbraker, Chancellor (Victor) Boschini and Chris Del Conte for this tremendous opportunity to be at TCU," Johnson said. "I have always had an appreciation for TCU and its potential.
"There are many factors that make this an attractive position. Chris has a great vision for the future of TCU basketball, and we very much look forward to building a program that makes TCU and Fort Worth proud. We will immediately hit the recruiting trail and share how special the TCU experience can be for prospective student-athletes. I am truly grateful and honored to be a Horned Frog!"
Prior to his time in Baton Rouge, Johnson served four seasons as head coach at Stanford, where he previously worked as an assistant coach from 1996-99. He became the only head coach in program history to guide the Cardinal to the postseason in each of his first four seasons, advancing to the NCAAs three times and the NIT in 2006.
Stanford's top season under Johnson came in his last campaign in 2007-08, when he took the Cardinal to the NCAA Sweet 16 as a No. 3 seed before finishing with a 28-8 overall record. He was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading Stanford to a second-place finish in the league. In his four years on The Farm, the Cardinal compiled an overall record of 80-47, including a 45-27 mark in conference play.
Prior to becoming head coach at Stanford, Johnson revitalized the program at Nevada during his five-year tenure from 1999-2004. During the 2003-04 season, he led Nevada to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time in school history as the Wolf Pack tied a school record with 25 wins. Nevada posted upset victories in the 2004 NCAA Tournament over Michigan State and Gonzaga before being edged by national runner-up Georgia Tech. Nevada also tied for a share of the WAC regular-season crown for the first time in school history and captured the WAC Tournament Championship.
Johnson displayed his coaching and recruiting expertise as he transformed a struggling Nevada program to a conference powerhouse and national contender. Prior to Johnson's arrival, Nevada had made just two NCAA Tournament appearances in school history and never won an NCAA Tournament game. In 2003, he was named the WAC Coach of the Year when his team won 18 games, advanced to the championship of the WAC Tournament and received an NIT bid.
Before earning his first head coaching opportunity, Johnson put together a long and successful career as an assistant. He had his first stint at Stanford from 1996-99 during which the Cardinal made an appearance in the NCAA Final Four (1998) and won the 1999 Pac-10 title. He also worked four years an assistant at Rice from 1993-96, helping the Owls to an NIT appearance. Other coaching stops on Johnson's resume include Washington (1989-92) and his first Division I coaching job at Utah from 1986-89, where he first established his abilities as a top recruiter.
Johnson got his coaching start at the prep level, serving as an assistant coach at Boise High School from 1980-85.
During his coaching career, Johnson has had great success producing players who have moved on to careers in the NBA. At LSU, he helped mold the talents of 2009 SEC Player of the Year and current Sacramento Kings guard Marcus Thornton in addition to former NBA players Garrett Temple and Chris Johnson. At Stanford, Johnson saw twin pupils Brook and Robin Lopez both be selected in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft, while Nevada standouts Kirk Snyder and Nick Fazekas were drafted during his time with the Wolf Pack.
As a Stanford assistant, Johnson contributed to the development and recruitment of some of its greatest players, including future NBA players Brevin Knight, Mark Madsen, Casey Jacobsen and Jarron and Jason Collins.
During his successful playing career at Boise State (1974-78), Johnson finished in the top 10 in scoring and rebounding. In his sophomore season (1975-76), the Broncos won the Big Sky Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. He also earned Big Sky honors as a senior before receiving his bachelor's degree in physical education. Following his collegiate career, he played professionally for the Washington Lumberjacks of the Western Basketball League.
Johnson is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and has served on the NABC Special Committee on Recruiting and Access. He also volunteered time to organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, the Louisiana Health and Rehab Center, Inc., the American Diabetes Association, Samaritan's Feet, Troops First and the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research.
Johnson was born in Berkeley, Calif. He and his wife, Jackie, have two children: a daughter, Tinishia, 24, and a son, Terry, 21.