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Tonya Johnson Named Head Volleyball Coach at Georgia Tech

Jan. 9, 2009

Watch Wes Durham’s Q&A with Coach Johnson

ATLANTA – Tonya Johnson, a six-year University of Texas assistant and associate head coach, has been named head volleyball coach at Georgia Tech, director of athletics Dan Radakovich announced Friday.

Tonya Johnson has everything that we look for in a head coach at Georgia Tech,” Radakovich said. “She is energetic and hard working, and she has a great knowledge of the game. I am happy that Tonya has accepted the challenge and look forward to supporting her and the team in every way possible.”

Johnson becomes the seventh volleyball coach in Georgia Tech history, succeeding Bond Shymansky.

“I’d like to thank Dan Radakovich and [Georgia Tech Senior Woman Administrator] Theresa Wenzel for this wonderful opportunity,” Johnson said. “I’d also like to thank Jerritt Elliott and [LSU head coach] Fran Flory for preparing me for this moment in my life – it has been a long time coming. It was a very tough decision to leave Texas because of all of the great things a school like Texas provides, but being there has certainly prepared me for this. Georgia Tech is a great institution, both academically and athletically, and I look forward to leading this program into the future.”

Johnson was an assistant coach under Elliott at Texas for five years before being promoted to associate head coach in 2008. She helped guide the Longhorns to the 2008 NCAA Final Four following back-to-back Regional Final appearances in 2006 and 2007. The Longhorns concluded last season with a 31-3 record after recording more than 20 victories in each of the four seasons prior.

An excellent recruiter on the national level, Johnson helped Elliott land the nation’s second-ranked recruiting classes in each of the last three seasons (2006-08). Texas’ 2009 recruiting class is aslo expected to be among the country’s best, with the signing of the nation’s top- and fifth-ranked prep players. A Longhorn has earned the Big 12’s Conference Freshman of the Year honor each of the last three seasons, one of whom has also been named the National Freshman of the Year.

In addition to serving as the recruiting coordinator, Johnson worked with the Longhorns’ outside hitters, three of whom received All-America accolades over her last three seasons at Texas. Juliann Faucette, the National Freshman of the Year in 2007, was tabbed a first-team AVCA All-American in 2007 after receiving first team Big 12 honors as a freshman. Ashley Engle, a right-side hitter that earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors in 2006, was named a first-team AVCA All-American in 2008 after being tabbed to the AVCA All-America second team in 2006, and Destinee Hooker received first-team AVCA All-America honors in 2008 after earning second-team accolades in 2007 and honorable mention recognition in 2006.

Prior to her arrival at Texas in 2003, Johnson served as the top volleyball assistant at LSU from 1998-2003 under Flory, where she was responsible for the majority of the Tigers’ recruiting efforts. Johnson began her collegiate coaching career as an assistant under Flory at Kentucky in 1995.

Johnson was a four-year letterwinner at LSU from 1987-90, helping the Tigers to Southeastern Conference titles in 1989 and 1990. She led her Tiger team to the NCAA Final Four her senior year after LSU advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1989.

Prior to joining the collegiate coaching ranks, Johnson taught at Wellington Landings Middle School in Boca Raton, Fla., while serving as an assistant coach at Olympic Heights High School and coaching the Florida Gold Coast club team.

Johnson, 39, graduated from LSU in 1993 and is a native Zachary, La.

Johnson Year-by-Year Coaching Record

Year    School  Position        Record  Postseason1998    LSU     Assistant       15-161999    LSU     Assistant       17-152000    LSU     Assistant       15-172001    LSU     Assistant       16-112002    LSU     Assistant       17-112003    Texas   Assistant       15-142004    Texas   Assistant       26-5    NCAA Sweet 162005    Texas   Assistant       24-5    NCAA Second Round2006    Texas   Assistant       24-7    NCAA Elite Eight2007    Texas   Assistant       27-4    NCAA Elite Eight, Big 12 Co-Champs2008    Texas   Associate Head  29-4    NCAA Final Four, Big 12 Co-Champs

Johnson Quick Facts

Birthday: September 1, 1969
Hometown: Zachary, Louisiana
Education: LSU, 1993
Years as College Assistant Coach: 11 (one as Associate Head Coach)

What They are Saying:

“Tonya has been a very big part of our success, and she has been an integral part of our staff. She is very well respected in the volleyball community, and in addition to losing a great coach we are losing a great friend and role model for our players. We are very excited for her. She has put in her time, paid her dues and is ready and excited to embark on this opportunity. It is my job to support my staff in all their endeavors and help prepare them in whatever way I can. We know that we are at a loss, but we also know that this is part of this profession. I wish Tonya nothing but the best as she takes on this new opportunity as a head coach.”
– Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott

“Tonya is certainly one of the bright young stars in coaching, and she will have a tremendous career at Georgia Tech. She will bring great recruiting and great coaching to the school, and she is certainly excited about the opportunity to lead the Yellow Jacket program. LSU is so proud and excited for her as she embarks upon this new challenge.”
– LSU head coach Fran Flory.

“When we met with our players before the search began, we indicated our goals in hiring a new head volleyball coach were to bring in a nationally well-respected individual with great energy who has had post-season success as a player and a coach. Hiring Tonya Johnson has allowed us to achieve those goals! All those who know Coach Johnson understand what a great addition she is for the Georgia Tech athletic department. Players, support staff and administration are all very excited to have her as our new head coach.”
– Georgia Tech associate director of athletics/Senior Woman Administrator Theresa Wenzel


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