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Trent Johnson Biography

Trent Johnson has one of the most diverse coaching pedigrees of all of the current head coaches in the Southeastern Conference. He has coached and coached well at many institutions across the country, and as such, brings a unique perspective to the conference, one which LSU and LSU fans hope will translate into success at a fairly high level. And as the first African-American head basketball coach at LSU, there may very well be an even greater microscope.

Trent Johnson coaching during time out.
Trent Johnson (while at Stanford) coaching during a time out.
Thanks to bootsauce at flikr.com for this picture.

Trent Johnson's coaching career began in a relatively inauspicious manner, as a high school coach for Boise High School in Boise, Idaho. Following a stint at Boise High School, Johnson got his first opportunity serve as an assistant coach at the college level, when he was tabbed to serve as an assistant coach for the University of Utah. He served in that position from 1986-1989. Following his time at Utah, Johnson then moved on to serve as an assistant with the University of Washington, where he served as an assistant coach from 1989-1992. He then moved to Rice University where he served as an assistant coach from 1992-1996. His final stint as an assistant coach was with Stanford University, where he served as an assistant coach from 1996-1999.

Finally, in 1999, after 13 seasons serving as an assistant coach for a wide range of schools, Johnson caught the attention of the University of Nevada, who were looking to fill their head coaching vacancy.

After a somewhat slow start at Nevada (his first two seasons featured records of only 9-20 and 10-18), Johnson really hit the ground running in his 3rd season, posting a 13-17 season. He then continued to elevate the team, amassing an 18-14 season in his 4th season at Nevada, and finally, in his 5th season at Nevada, taking the team to an impressive 25-9 record overall, and a postseason run that ended in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Trent johnson walks to scorers table
Trent Johnson at the scorers table.

The turnaround at the University of Nevada got the attention of Stanford University, who hired Johnson to be its new head basketball coach prior to the 2004-2005 season. However, unlike his first head coaching position at Nevada, this time he got off to a quick start. In his first season, he led the Cardinal to an 18-13 record overall, and an NCAA Tournament appearance. After taking a stutter step backward in his second season (16-14, NIT appearance), he rebounded to another 18-13 season and another NCAA appearance in his 3rd season. Then, in his 4th season, he elevated Stanford to a 28-8 season and a deep postseason run, this time, an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 run.

In April 2008, Johnson was hired as the 20th head basketball coach at Louisiana State University. In addition to becoming the first African-American head coach at LSU, he also is the first African-American head coach of any kind at LSU.

For current information about LSU Tigers and Trent Johnson, go to LSU Tigers Basketball page. Check out LSU Basketball History

Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie
Thanks to Rob Holland (bobbyuggles) for this picture of Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie looking up to Patrick Patterson as he talks to him and Jodie Meeks during a time out.

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