Episode 163: Ben Johnson, Transitioning Into a Head Coaching Position


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Guest: Ben Johnson, University of Minnesota Head Coach

In this week's coaching conversation, University of Minnesota head coach Ben Johnson joins the podcast to discuss transitioning into a head coaching position.

Ben Johnson is the new head coach of the University of Minnesota. Johnson, who graduated from Minnesota in 2005, returns to his alma mater after spending three seasons at Xavier as an assistant coach. Johnson previously served as an assistant coach at Minnesota from 2013-18 and was a two-time captain during his playing career for the Gophers. Coach Johnson was also previously an assistant coach at Nebraska, Northern Iowa, Texas-Pan American, and a Graduate Assistant at Dayton.

Johnson helped lead Xavier to consecutive top-30 recruiting classes in 2019 and 2020 and the Musketeers posted a collective record of 51-37 in three seasons with him on the bench. In his previous stint at Minnesota, Johnson helped recruit local standouts and current members of the Los Angeles Clippers organization Daniel Oturu and Amir Coffey to the Gophers.

Prior to returning to Minnesota in 2013, he spent one season as an assistant coach under Tim Miles at the University of Nebraska. While with the Huskers, Johnson assisted in all-day-to-day basketball-related duties while also serving as recruiting coordinator. Johnson also led the development of Nebraska's backcourt players.

Johnson spent 2008-12 as an assistant coach at Northern Iowa. The Panthers went a combined 93-77 in that timeframe, winning at least 20 games in all four years. Northern Iowa reached postseason play in all four years and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2009-10. Prior to his stay at Northern Iowa, Johnson served as an assistant coach for two seasons at the University of Texas-Pan American. He was heavily involved in recruiting, worked with the Broncos perimeter players and coordinated UTPA's summer camps.

Johnson's coaching career began at the University of Dayton, where he served as a graduate assistant during the 2005-06 season.


1:00 - Job as a Head Coach

5:00 - His Philosophy as a Coach

9:00 - Evaluation on His Current Players

12:00 - Part of Player's Process

14:00 - Mid and High Major Interview

16:00 - Potential Jobs

19:00 - Looking for Jobs

23:00 - Philosophy Books

27:00 - Players Handling the Environment

30:30 - Competitive Culture and Frustration

36:00 - Style Play

39:00 - Developing Skill

41:00 - Coach Spoelstra

44:00 - Raising Profile of the Program

46:00 - Transition

49:00 - Relationship with Richard Pitino

51:00 - Conclusion

Ben Johnson’s Bio:

Bio: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Johnson_(basketball)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CoachBenJohnson

Basketball Immersion

Website: http://basketballimmersion.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bballimmersion?lang=en

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/basketballimmersion

Facebook: https://facebook.com/basketballimmersion

BetOnline Website:

Website: www.betonline.ag

Best in the West Video Series

Best in the West Website: http://bestinthewestclinic.com/

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