May 15, 2013
FORT WORTH — TCU men’s basketball head coach Trent Johnson announced Wednesday the addition of veteran assistant coach Kwanza Johnson to his Horned Frogs staff. Johnson, who owns 16 years experience as a college coach, joins TCU following four seasons at Georgia.
Johnson spent the previous seven years coaching alongside head coach Mark Fox, a former assistant for Trent Johnson, at both Georgia (2009-13) and Nevada (2006-09).
“I have paid close attention to Kwanza’s career for the last several years,” Trent Johnson said. “He’s recognized nationally as one of the top assistant coaches in college basketball, and there’s not a better fit for our efforts in continuing to build this program here at TCU.”
Johnson was part of Fox’s original staff at Georgia that built the Bulldogs into an NCAA Tournament qualifier in just its second season on campus in 2010-11. The squad posted its most victories (21) and first NCAA bid in nine years while breaking into the national top-25 for the first time since 2003.
Johnson tutored several frontcourt standouts during his time in Athens, including 2011 NBA Draft choices and All-SEC selections Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie. Johnson also worked with Bulldogs guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the 2013 SEC Player of the Year and a potential 2013 first-round draft pick.
Fox took Johnson with him to Georgia after a successful run at Nevada that saw the Wolf Pack go 71-30 with a pair of Western Athletic Conference regular-season championships in Johnson’s three years on campus.
In Johnson’s first year at Nevada, his work with the squad’s frontcourt helped forward Nick Fazekas earn first-team All-America honors and his third WAC Player of the Year selection. The next year Johnson worked with big man JaVale McGee, an All-WAC pick and the 18th player chosen in the 2008 NBA Draft (Washington Wizards). That year, the Wolf Pack set a school record, led the WAC and ranked 15th nationally in blocked shots at 5.8 per game.
Johnson’s work in 2009 with Nevada freshman Luke Babbitt helped him to be named both first-team All-WAC and WAC Newcomer of the Year.
Before coaching at Nevada, Johnson served stints as an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois (2006), Tulsa (2001-05), Arkansas-Little Rock (2001) and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (2000). He started his career as an administrative assistant on Bill Self’s Tulsa staff from 1997 through 1999.
A native of Oklahoma City, Okla., Johnson had a successful collegiate career that included his final two seasons playing at Tulsa for head coach Tubby Smith. Both of his years with the Golden Hurricane saw the squad win Missouri Valley Conference championships and reach the NCAA Sweet 16. He was elected team captain and named to the MVC All-Defensive team as a senior in 1995.
Johnson began his collegiate career at Rose State College in Midwest City, Okla., where he was the junior college Region II Player of the Year and named to the national junior college all-tournament team in 1993. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Tulsa in 1995 and added a Juris Doctor degree from the Tulsa College of Law in 1999.
The addition of Johnson fills the TCU staff position vacated by former Tulsa teammate Pooh Williamson, who resigned last month to take a similar position at Texas Tech.