In just his first four seasons as a head coach at any level, Johnny Dawkins has continued to make an impact on one of college basketball's most accomplished programs as Stanford's Anne and Tony Joseph Director of Men's Basketball.
Dawkins' contributions since arriving on The Farm have come in the form of both team and individual success, most notably guiding the Cardinal to the 2012 Postseason NIT championship.
Meanwhile, one year after leading Stanford to a 20-win season for the 20th time in school history, Dawkins oversaw Landry Fields' progression from key reserve to all-league performer and eventual NBA Draft pick.
Dawkins has also made significant strides off the court, with three straight highly-touted recruiting classes yielding some of the nation's elite players. More impressively, that same young talent is being developed quickly. Last year, Chasson Randle became the fourth player to earn All-Freshman Team status among conference players during Dawkins' tenure following a six-year period in which only two Cardinal rookies were honored.
A high standard in the classroom has been established as well during Dawkins' tenure. In 2011-12, Stanford was represented with a conference-best eight players named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team. For the third season in a row, Stanford had more honorees than any conference school. Stanford's four selections among the first and second teams were the program's most since 2004-05, when five Cardinal players accounted for the top 10 spots.
Stanford produced a 26-11 record last year en route to capturing the Postseason NIT title, the third championship in school history (1942 NCAA, 1991 Postseason NIT). The Cardinal chalked up its best win total since a 28-8 campaign in 2007-08. Despite placing seventh in regular-season conference play, Stanford wrapped up the year as the Pac-12's winningest program and tallied a league-best four victories against the RPI's top-50. Randle produced one of the best rookie seasons in school history, leading the club with 13.8 points per game while Josh Owens led the team in rebounding at 5.8 per game.
The Cardinal closed out the 2010-11 season at 15-16. Fielding a team without a senior for the first time in school history, Dawkins put his rookies in a position to excel. In addition to making more starts (47) than any other Pac-10 team, Stanford's freshmen logged the highest percentage of minutes played (41.7) and accounted for the highest percentage of scoring (40.3). Additionally, Stanford was represented with four all-league picks overall, the most since four members of the Cardinal's 2008 Sweet 16 squad were recognized.
Stanford finished 14-18 overall during the 2009-10 campaign in Dawkins' second season at the helm. Despite multiple injuries, lack of depth and a projected last-place conference finish in the preseason media poll, the Cardinal reached the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals. An impressive feat considering Stanford's roster featured only seven true scholarship players, two returning starters and six walk-ons.
Under Dawkins' guidance, Fields produced one of the most memorable seasons in school history, earning All-Pac-10 First Team honors after leading the conference in scoring, minutes played, 20-point games and double-doubles while finishing second in rebounding. Fields was chosen in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft, as the 39th overall pick by the New York Knicks. Fields became the 31st NBA/ABA Draft choice in program history and first since Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez were taken 10th and 15th overall, respectively, in 2008.
During his rookie season in 2008-09, Dawkins directed Stanford to a 20-14 record and reached the CBI semifinals, extending the program's lengthy streaks of consecutive winning seasons (16) and postseason appearances (16). In addition to surpassing Robert Burnett as the winningest first-year head coach in school history, Dawkins ranked third in victories among the 21 first-year head coaches in Division I with no prior college head coaching experience. The Cardinal joined national champion North Carolina and Final Four participant Pittsburgh as the only schools in Division I with an undefeated non-conference record. Perhaps more impressively, Dawkins' 2008-09 squad accomplished all of the above while overcoming the losses of NBA First Round Draft picks Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez.
In May 2012, Dawkins was elected to serve on the board of directors for the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). He also currently serves on the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Ethics Coalition, an independent committee of current and former basketball coaches. The group is charged with promoting ethical conduct through leadership, education and mentoring opportunities while identifying key issues challenging the coaching community.
Dawkins, 49, became Stanford's 17th head coach on Apr. 28, 2008, after completing 11 years as a member of the Duke coaching staff. For the previous nine seasons (2000-08), Dawkins served as Duke's associate head coach and began his coaching career as an assistant in 1998-99.
During the summer of 2008, Dawkins completed a three-year commitment as Player Personnel Director for the gold-medal winning USA Basketball National Team at the Olympics in Beijing. With the help of Dawkins and the rest of the coaching staff, Team USA claimed its first gold medal since 2000 with a 118-107 victory over Spain. The Americans were dominant throughout the entire competition, posting an 8-0 mark and winning by an average of 27.9 points per game.
Two years earlier in his first competition with USA Basketball, Dawkins helped lead the Americans to a bronze medal finish at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.
During Dawkins' 11 years as a coach at Duke, the Blue Devils won a national championship in 2001, six ACC regular season championships, seven ACC Tournament titles, and posted a 330-60 record. In four consecutive seasons from 1999-2002, Duke finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in both national polls, marking the first time that has happened in college basketball history. Duke reached the No. 1 national ranking in eight of the 11 seasons that Dawkins coached for the Blue Devils.
Dawkins supervised player development efforts during his tenure. Nine Blue Devils were tabbed NBA lottery picks and one of his pupils, Elton Brand, was named Co-NBA Rookie of the Year. He played an integral role in the development of NBA first round selections, Shelden Williams, who was selected fifth overall, and J.J. Redick, who was selected 11th overall, in 2006. In addition, Duke had four National Players of the Year and 13 All-Americans during Dawkins' tenure.
One of the most decorated players in Duke history, Dawkins finished his career in 1986 as the school's all-time leading scorer and held that honor until 2006 when Redick surpassed his mark of 2,556 points. Prior to the 2002-03 campaign, Dawkins was named as one of the 50 greatest players in ACC history. The Sporting News named Dawkins the 78th greatest player in college basketball history in its Legends of College Basketball book released in 2002.
After suffering through an 11-17 rookie season when he was named a Freshman All-American, Dawkins led Duke to an 84-21 record over his last three seasons. A native of Washington, D.C., Dawkins was a part of three NCAA Tournament squads. During his senior year as team captain, the Blue Devils won 37 contests and notched a 21-game winning streak. That squad went on to win the ACC regular season championship, the ACC Tournament title and advance to the NCAA Final Four where Duke lost to Louisville in the national championship game.
Dawkins is Duke's career record-holder in field goals (1026) and field goals attempted (2019) while also owning the school's best single-season mark for field goals (331) during the 1986 campaign. He scored in double figures in a school-record 129 career games, all but four of the contests he played in at Duke. Dawkins led the Blue Devils in scoring all four years of his career, recording the fourth-highest season point total in school history with 809 in 1986.
An alternate on the 1984 USA Olympic basketball team, Dawkins was a two-time first team All-ACC performer in 1985 and 1986 as well as the school's first consensus two-time, first team All-American. During his senior year, he was tabbed ACC Tournament MVP while also becoming the first Naismith Player of the Year recipient in school history.
A 1986 first-round draft selection (10th pick overall) by San Antonio, Dawkins saw action in nine NBA seasons with the Spurs, 76ers and Pistons.
Upon his retirement from the NBA, he was inducted into the Duke Sports Hall of Fame in September 1996. His jersey number 24 was retired by the school.
Dawkins spent the 1996-97 academic year as an administrative intern in the Duke athletic department. He also served as the radio color analyst for all Duke games on the Capitol Sports Network.
Dawkins is a 1986 graduate of Duke with a degree in political science. He and his wife, Tracy, have four children: Blair, Sean, Jillian and Aubrey.