Ferrum News

Ferrum College Alum James Johnson Named Hokies Head Coach


Ferrum College Alum James Johnson Named Hokies Head Coach

Johnson was a stand out player at Ferrum College in the early 1990’s.


Blacksburg, Va. (May 1, 2012) – In a news conference held this afternoon at Virginia Tech, Director of Athletics Jim Weaver named former Ferrum College standout James Johnson head men's basketball coach at Virginia Tech.  Johnson spent the past five seasons as an assistant with the Hokies, but left three weeks ago to take the same position at Clemson University.

Johnson worked the past two weeks at Clemson with head coach Brad Brownell before being lured back to Virginia Tech.  A 1993 graduate of Ferrum, Johnson lands his first head coaching position after 20 years as an assistant coach.  Virginia Tech competes in one the top basketball conferences in the nation, the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Johnson played at Ferrum for then Head Coach Bill Pullen, helping the Panthers win Dixie Conference (now the USA South) regular season titles in 1992 and 1993.  In 1992, Johnson helped the Panthers win the Dixie Tournament and make the College's first and only trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament.  He was a standout defensive player, drawing the assignment of guarding opponents' top player every night.

Johnson made his coaching debut in 1994 as Pullen's assistant coach, and helped lead the Panthers to the 1995 Dixie regular season title.  Johnson left Ferrum after that season to take an assistant coaching position at Longwood University.

From there, Johnson's coaching stops included Hargrave Military Academy (1996-97), Old Dominion University (1997-2000), Elon University (2000-02), College of Charleston (2002-03), Penn State (2003-05), George Mason (2005-07) and Virginia Tech (2007-12).

A highlight to his 20-year career as an assistant coach came in 2006 when Johnson helped Head Coach Jim Larranaga lead George Mason in its improbable run to the NCAA Division I Final Four.