Four players score in double figures in 71-60 victory over Sun Devils in Pac-10 opener.
In naming Trent Johnson as its 16th head coach in school history on May 25, 2004, Stanford found the perfect blend of character and ability to continue its dual mission of being one of the elite universities and basketball programs in the country.
Johnson's coaching acumen, recruiting savvy and personal integrity, combined with his familiarity of Stanford and its culture have made him the perfect fit to continue building upon Stanford's significant basketball legacy.
Highly-regarded nationally for his abilities and accomplishments, Johnson also fits the Stanford philosophy by structuring the program to proactively mentor, teach and develop his student-athletes in order to help them realize both their athletic and life goals.
Johnson, a Stanford assistant coach for three seasons from 1996-99, has made an immediate impact since returning to The Farm. He is the only head coach in school history to guide the Cardinal to the postseason in each of his first three seasons, with a 2005-06 NIT berth sandwiched between a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances.
Prior to returning to Stanford, Johnson revitalized the program at Nevada during his five-year tenure from 1999-2004. During a memorable 2003-04 season, Johnson led Nevada to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history as the Wolf Pack tied a school record with 25 wins (25-9). Nevada posted upset victories in the 2004 NCAA Tournament over Michigan State and Gonzaga before being edged by eventual national runner-up Georgia Tech in a regional semifinal game. Nevada also tied for a share of the WAC regular season crown for the first time in school history and captured the WAC Tournament Championship.
Last season's Cardinal squad reached the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in school history and second in Johnson's tenure. Stanford finished 18-13 overall while taking sixth place overall with a 10-8 mark in arguably the nation's toughest conference. The Cardinal raced out to an 8-2 start and registered a number of quality wins over the likes of Oregon, Texas Tech, USC, Virginia (only loss at home) and Washington State. In addition to posting wins over five top-25 clubs, the biggest victory of the season took place at Maples Pavilion on Jan. 28, when Stanford overcame a 17-point first-half deficit and dispatched of No. 2 UCLA 75-68. Lawrence Hill represented the Cardinal on the All-Pac-10 squad while Brook Lopez enjoyed an impressive rookie season as he garnered All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors in addition to being named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team.
Johnson's 2005-06 club posted a 16-14 overall record and an 11-7 mark in conference play culminating with a postseason invite to the NIT. Johnson and his staff developed two players recognized as First Team All-Pac-10 honorees: Chris Hernandez and Matt Haryasz. In addition, Mitch Johnson was named Pac-10 All-Freshman Honorable Mention. During the season, Haryasz earned two Pac-10 Player of the Week accolades while Hernandez picked up another. On the academic front, Hernandez and Dan Grunfeld were tabbed First Team Pac-10 All-Academic selections while Taj Finger and Peter Prowitt were Second Team recipients. Grunfeld added to his academic honors when he was tabbed a CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American.
In Johnson's first season on The Farm, he displayed his leadership and acumen in the face of adversity as Stanford dealt with a season-ending injury to its leading scorer while having only nine healthy players able to compete at the end of the year. Despite the obstacles, Johnson helped lead the Cardinal to its 11th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. With an 18-13 overall record and a third place finish at 11-7 in the Pac-10, Johnson mentored three players to All-Pac-10 honors: Chris Hernandez (First Team), Dan Grunfeld (First Team) and Matt Haryasz (Honorable Mention). Hernandez and Grunfeld were also honored as First Team NABC District-14 selections. In addition to the numerous accolades earned on the court, several student-athletes were recognized for their work in the classroom. Grunfeld was honored as a 2005 ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-American selection while four of the five First Team Pac-10 All-Academic spots were awarded to Cardinal players (Grunfeld, Hernandez, Rob Little and Nick Robinson). Jason Haas was named a Second Team selection as well.
Johnson displayed his coaching and recruiting expertise as he transformed a struggling Nevada program to a conference powerhouse and national contender. Prior to Johnson's arrival, Nevada had made just two NCAA Tournament appearances in school history and never won an NCAA Tournament game. His success included the recruitment and development of standouts Kirk Snyder and Nick Fazekas. Snyder, named the WAC Player of the Year and Honorable Mention All-American as a junior, was the 16th player chosen in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz and is now playing for the Houston Rockets. Fazekas, a three-time All-American and three-time WAC Player of the Year, was one three players in the country to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds last year. He finished his career as Nevada's leading scorer and second-leading rebounder before being drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 NBA Draft.
In 2002-03, CollegeInsider.com named Johnson the WAC Coach of the Year when the Wolf Pack received an NIT bid and finished with an 18-14 record. Johnson also guided Nevada to the championship game of the 2003 WAC Tournament.
Johnson's three prior seasons as an assistant coach at Stanford coincided with the start of one of the most successful runs in school history. The Cardinal made an appearance in the NCAA Final Four for the second time in school history (1997-98), reached the NCAA Sweet Sixteen (1996-97, 1997-98) and captured the Pac-10 title (1998-99), while chalking up a dominating 78-20 overall record.
During this time, Johnson contributed to the development and recruitment of some of Stanford's greatest players. Future NBAers Brevin Knight, Mark Madsen, Casey Jacobsen and Jarron and Jason Collins highlight this group.
Before this three-year stint at Stanford, Johnson spent four years at as an assistant coach at Rice from 1992-96. During his tenure with the Owls, Rice made one of its few postseason appearances by playing in the NIT.
Johnson also served as an assistant coach at Washington from 1989-92. His 1991-92 recruiting class included two of the top five newcomers in the Pac-10, including Freshman of the Year Mark Pope.
Johnson began his Division 1 collegiate coaching career at Utah from 1986-89, where he established his reputation as a top recruiter. He signed Josh Grant, the 1990 WAC Most Valuable Player and Naismith Award finalist. He was also responsible for recruiting Jimmy Soto, a finalist for the Little Big Man Award. In addition, the Utes made two trips to the NIT during Johnson's three seasons in Salt Lake City.
Johnson also achieved a high level of success coaching at the high school level, serving as the head coach at Boise High School from 1980-85 and leading the team to the Idaho state title in 1980.
During his successful playing career at Boise State (1974-78), Johnson finished in the top-10 in scoring and rebounding. In his sophomore season (1975-76), the Broncos won the Big Sky Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The following year (1976-77), Johnson was named Boise State's Most Improved Player and, as a senior, he was the team's Most Inspirational Player. Johnson also earned All-Big Sky honors in his final season in Boise. It also was at Boise State that Johnson established his long relationship with his former boss at Stanford, Mike Montgomery, who served as an assistant coach on the Broncos staff at the time. Johnson earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from Boise State in 1983.
Johnson also played professionally for the Washington Lumberjacks of the Western Basketball League.
Johnson currently serves on the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Special Committee on Recruiting and Access. This committee is comprised of a select group of prominent coaches who suggest ways to provide a more equitable and informational recruiting process for the potential student-athlete and to enhance the educational opportunities for student-athletes while in college.
Johnson and his wife, Jackie, have two children: a daughter, Tinishia, 24, and a son, Terry, 21.
Year-by-Year with Trent Johnson
NIT First Round, WAC Tournament runner-up
NCAA Sweet 16, WAC Tournament champions, WAC regular season champions
NCAA First Round
NIT Second Round
NCAA First Round
NCAA Sweet 16
Career: 159-122 (9 seasons) at Stanford: 80-48 (4 seasons) at Nevada: 79-74 (5 seasons)