Check out photos, blogs and more from the WSU men's basketball team's trip to Australia.
The most familiar with Washington State University men's basketball among the coaching staff, Ben Johnson enters his ninth season as an assistant coach, recruiter and on-the-floor coach at WSU in 2012-13, and his fourth under head coach Ken Bone.
Johnson joined the WSU coaching staff in 2004 under then-head coach Dick Bennett. He coached under the elder Bennett for two seasons before Tony Bennett took over prior to the 2006-07 season.
Johnson was a teammate of Tony Bennett's at Wisconsin-Green Bay for four seasons (1989-92). While at UW-Green Bay, Johnson, a two-year captain, helped lead the Phoenix to one NCAA Tournament and two NIT appearances. During his collegiate career, Johnson was coached by Dick Bennett.
After graduating from UW-Green Bay in 1992 with a degree in business communication, Johnson played three years of professional basketball (1993-95) in Cairns, Australia. While overseas, he began his coaching career, working as a basketball youth development officer and state clinician. During those years, he coached and developed hundreds of Australian players at the local, junior and state representative levels.
From 1995-2002, Johnson returned to UW-Green Bay, where he served as an assistant coach under former WSU Assistant Coach and Director of Player Development/Operations, Mike Heideman. In 1996, he helped guide UW-Green Bay to an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
In 2002, Johnson made his return to Australia, where he was the head coach for the Kuiyam Pride U23 Men. The following year (2003), Johnson served as head coach for both the Kuiyam Pride U23 Men and the Kuiyam Pride Women. The Pride Women competed in the professional Australian Basketball League. Following the 2003 season, Johnson was named Queensland Australian Basketball League Women's Coach of the Year.
Johnson, a native of Stevens Point, Wis., is married to Nicky, a former WNBL player in Townsville, Australia. They have a daughter, Samira, born in January of 2009 and a son, Aziah, born in May of 2010.
During the 2010-11 season, Johnson helped the team achieve a 22-13 overall mark and to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament at New York's Madison Square Garden. WSU's 22 wins tie for the 10th most in school history as it reached 20-plus wins for just the 18th time. The Cougars went 3-1 in the NIT, with the help of Johnson, marking their most wins in a single postseason at the time.
The Ben Johnson File
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