|Chris Johnson bio|
Courtesy: Athletic Media Relations
Chris Johnson begins his first season as the associate head coach for the University of Arkansas women’s track and field team. Johnson will oversee the Razorbacks’ efforts in the sprints, hurdles and jumps. He will also assist with Arkansas’ multi-event competitors. Johnson spent the previous eight years at Penn State University, the last four seasons as the Nittany Lions’ associate head coach.
Johnson is no stranger to the Razorbacks, having spent two years as a graduate assistant on Harter’s staff during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. In addition to his duties with the Arkansas sprinters and hurdlers in that time, he worked directly with NCAA champions Veronica Campbell and LaShaunte’a Moore. The Razorbacks won two Southeastern Conference titles—2003 indoor and 2004 outdoor—while Johnson was in Fayetteville.
On the heels of a standout performance by his team, Johnson was named the 2012 USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Men’s Outdoor Assistant Coach of the Year. It was the seventh award for Johnson for his work at Penn State. In addition to indoor coaching honors in 2009 and 2011, he also swept the USTFCCCA indoor and outdoor accolades in 2008 and 2010.
In 2012, Johnson directed the performances of 14 All-Americans—five indoor and nine outdoor—and guided the Penn State men to the program’s first-ever 4x400-meter relay title at the Big Ten Championships. During his career with the Nittany Lions, he saw his student-athletes earn two NCAA titles and 36 conference titles, split between 22 individual and 14 relay victories.
Throughout the 2011 campaign, Johnson-coached athletes bettered a total of four school records, while freshman Brady Gehret ran to bronze-medal honors at 400 meters at the NCAA?Indoor Championships. Johnson was also named USTFCCCA?Mid-Atlantic Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year, the sixth such honor of his coaching career.
Johnson guided well over 50 All-America performances at Penn State, including NCAA victories from Shana Cox in the 400-meters and Cox, Aleesha Barber, Dominique Blake and Gayle Hunter in the 4x400-meter relay in 2008. Johnson directly coached many of Penn State’s most decorated athletes in program history, including Cox and Barber, who each earned 11 All-America certificates.
In 2011, Johnson guided a trio of All-America 4x400 relays with the women’s squad finishing sixth indoors and fourth outdoors, and the men’s team taking fifth at the NCAA?Indoor Championships. All told, Johnson saw a grand total of nine All-America relays, including an NCAA title run in the women’s mile relay in 2008.
Indoors, Johnson coached freshman phenom Gehret to a school-record 46.22 in the 400, while the men’s 4x400-meter relay, including Gehret and fellow Johnson protégé Aaron Nadolsky, clocked a school-record 3:07.27. The duo also assisted on the Nittany Lions’ record-setting relay outdoors.
During the 2011 indoor season, Johnson oversaw conference winning efforts from Shavon Greaves in the 200-meters, as well as the women’s 4x400-meter quartet of Doris Anyanwu, Ije Iheoma, Greaves, and Megan Duncan. On the men’s side, Johnson led Gehret to a runner-up standing the in 400.
In 2010, Johnson’s sprints/hurdles contingent highlighted by a dominate effort at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, adding an impressive total of 93 points toward the Nittany Lions’ women’s team title. Johnson’s sprint/hurdle corps ran the table in their event area, claiming individual titles in the 100, 200, and 400 meters, as well as the 100- and 400-meters hurdles, and 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays.
Johnson’s athletes also played a key role in the Nittany Lions’ fourth-place “Trophy Team” finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2010, thanks to All-America efforts from Barber, Greaves, Fawn Dorr and the 4x400 relay. All told, Johnson guided seven athletes to the NCAA outdoor meet, with athletes representing the Blue and White in four individual events, as well as both relays.
Individually, Barber paced the Nittany Lion sprints and hurdles squad with a bronze-medal finish in the 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, while Dorr turned in a fourth-place effort in the 400-meter hurdles, and Greaves placed seventh in the 200-meters.
The PSU sprinters and hurdlers were equally as successful during the 2010 indoor campaign, with Greaves running a world-leading 22.98 for the 200 at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Johnson’s athletes claimed two individual and one relay title, with Greaves taking the 60 and 200, and the squad of Anyanwu, Dorr, Greaves and Caitlin DeFusco setting a Big Ten meet record 3:35.38 en route to the program’s fifth-straight victory in the indoor conference 4x400. Nationally, Johnson led Greaves to a third-place finish in the 200—the Lions’ highest finish in the event since 2004–and guided Dorr to fifth-place honors in the 400. The Nittany Lions were well represented in the sprints in total, with Greaves earning All-America honors with an 11th-place finish in the 60, DeFusco placing 17th in the 200, and the 4x400 finishing in ninth overall.
On the NCAA?level in 2009, Johnson guided his always competitive 4x400-meter relay to a pair of All-America finishes, leading the quartet of Barber, Greaves, Dorr, and Gayle Hunter to bronze-medal honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships, and a fourth-place finish at the outdoor national championships.
Johnson is married to the former Gi-Gi Miller, a 2001 NCAA triple jump champion and four-time All-American during her collegiate career at Arkansas. She still owns the school records in the indoor and outdoor triple jump and heptathlon. With Johnson’s training, she competed at the 2005 and 2007 IAAF World Championships and was the 2006 U.S. champion in the heptathlon. The couple was married in October 2005.
An outstanding athlete in his own right, Johnson graduate from Lamar University in 1999, earning a degree in kinesiology. During his collegiate career, he was a Sun Belt Conference champion at 400 meters.
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