Erik Johnson's appointment as head coach created a buzz around the Boston College women's basketball program in April 2012. Johnson brings energy, experience and a positive outlook to the program spread quickly as he spoke about the hope of restoring the winning tradition at the Heights.
This is Johnson's second stint at Boston College as he was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator from 2006-08 under former BC head coach Cathy Inglese.
Johnson arrived in Denver as the head coach in 2008-09. In his four years, Johnson posted a 72-52 overall record and a 44-24 Sun Belt Conference record. Johnson also created a winning tradition on the Pioneers home court as the team posted a 24-4 record over his final two years.
In just four years at Denver, Johnson placed five players on the Sun Belt Conference All-Conference teams, including Freshman of the Year and two-time All-Conference player Kaetlyn Murdoch.
In his final season as head coach, Johnson guided the 2011-12 team to an impressive 19-12 record, while placing third in the Sun Belt Conference West Division. It was the second straight season Johnson's team posted 19 victories. The team also cracked the Top 50 in December 2011, prior to losing a key player to an injury for the remainder of the season.
He led the Pioneers to its first win in program history over a ranked team on December 2, 2011 with a 77-65 win over No. 23 Vanderbilt. The team also picked up wins over Pac 12 opponent Oregon, Big 10's Minnesota and in-state rival and Big 12 opponent Colorado.
Under Johnson's guidance, senior forward Kaetlyn Murdoch earned Sun Belt Conference first team honors while senior guard Emiko Smith was a second team honoree.
Murdoch, who reached her 1,000 career point as a junior, is currently the program's third all-time scorer with 1,810 points. She is also fourth on the all-time list for rebounds with 848.
Smith finished the season with a career-high 199 assists, which placed her seventh in the nation. She is the program's all-time leader in assists with 533. Smith broke the assists record at Denver midway through junior season.
Johnson's success in recruiting is proven as the 2012 class entering Denver is ranked 16th nationally in the mid-major schools by ESPN.
In Johnson's third season at Denver, the Pioneers finished the season with a 19-12 record and received a WNIT invitation. Johnson's team finished the 2010-11 season ranked No. 10 in the nation and No. 1 in the Sun Belt Conference in field-goal percentage (45.7%). Denver finished 11th nationally and first in the conference in three-point field goal percentage (35.8%).
Johnson was important in the maturation of senior forward Brianna Culberson, and senior guard Britteni Rice.
Rice finished ranked second in the Sun Belt and sixth in the NCAA in three-point field goal percentage (44.9%). Rice finished her career ranked 10th all-time in career points (1,283), and earned All-SBC Second Team honors in her final season. Smith was an All-Sun Belt Conference second team honoree and led the conference in assists and was seventh in the country with 180 helpers. She broke the single season assist record at DU with 180 assist.
Culberson, an All-SBC second team honoree, finished the season second on the team in scoring (14.3 ppg) and sixth in the SBC in field goal percentage (52.0 %), good enough for 37th nationally. Culberson also eclipsed the 1,000 point career mark her senior season.
In the 2009-10 season, the team finished the season at 18-13 overall and just seven players on the roster due to injuries. The Pioneers finished second in the Sun Belt Conference with a 12-6 record.
In Johnson's inaugural season at Denver, Johnson led the Pioneers to a 16-15 overall record, including a 10-8 mark in the Sun Belt Conference. The Pioneers advanced to the semifinal round of the Sun Belt Tournament with a historical win over North Texas before bowing out in double-overtime to University Arkansas-Little Rock.
Prior to Denver, Johnson helped the Boston College women's program reach the NCAA Sweet 16 and post a 25-10 overall record in the 2005-06 season. The following season, Johnson coordinated the recruitment of three key players - was four-year starting guard Jaclyn Thoman, ACC Freshman of the Year Stefanie Murphy and three-time All-ACC center and current WNBA player Carolyn Swords. The class was ranked 16 by the Blue Star Report. In the first season, the three freshmen - Thoman, Murphy and Swords - started for the Eagles and led the team to a 21-11 season and a Final Four appearance in the WNIT.
He also orchestrated the signing of national top 100 recruit Mia Nickson, currently a starting forward at Penn State. She topped the 2008 signing class which was ranked 26th by Blue Star.
Johnson was also an associate head coach at the University of San Diego from 2002-2005. He was also an assistant for the Toreros from 1998-2002. Prior to San Diego, Johnson was an assistant at the University of Rhode Island from 1995-98.
An outgoing and social personality, Johnson is also active in many off-court organizations and activities. Included in Johnson's off the court work included being the WBCA Sun Belt Conference Coaches Captain from 2009-2011, guest speaker at the 2012 NCAA Tournament Clinics.
A 1994 graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Johnson earned a degree in psychology. He was a member of the men's basketball team at UCSD. Johnson was known as a long-range shooter and still holds the single season record holder for 3-point shots made in 1994. He served as the team captain for an eight-game tour of China and Hong Kong in 1993.
Johnson and his wife Laura, a former volleyball player at Ohio State and an alternate for the 2000 Olympic team, have two daughters, Daly (10) and Avery (8). Their four-year old son, Davis, passed away unexpectedly on May 6, 2010. The family resides in Needham, Mass.
Education College: Univ. of California, San Diego (1994) - Bachelor's degree
University of Rhode Island (1997) - Master's degree
Johnson's Basketball File at Denver
Sun Belt (West)
Four-year letter winner on the UC-San Diego basketball team
Team captain (1994)
Three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Division III Sweet Sixteen
Set a career and single-season record for three-point shots made
Team captain for eight-game tour of China and Hong Kong (1993)