University of Sioux Falls head men's basketball coach Chris Johnson begins his fifth season at the helm. Johnson became the 22nd USF head coach in 2008.
Since taking over, Johnson has guided the Cougars to four consecutive 20-win seasons, three post-season appearances, two conference tournament championships and one regular season conference crown. USF is 89-44 during his tenure.
Coach Johnson's ability to make adjustments and motivate his players was once again on display in a tough transition to the NCAA DII during the 2011-12 season. After a 1-6 start, USF went 19-3 in their final 22 games.
Similar to several Cougar teams in 2011-12, the transitional year meant a travel-intensive schedule, typically featuring a road contest against an NCAA DI opponent. For basketball that team was Wyoming, and although it goes down as a loss, USF's six-point defeat in the final minutes at Wyoming on December 16, 2011, is one that will be remembered for quite some time.
The Cougars hope to carry last year's momentum into their first full season as a full member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in 2012-13.
In 2010-2011, Johnson led USF to another 20 win season and their second GPAC tournament championship in three years en route to being named the Hauff Mid America/ GPAC Coach of the Year. Johnson mentored three GPAC all-conference selections, including a second team selection in junior forward David Maxwell. Last season marked USF's ninth 20+ win season of the decade.
The 2009-2010 squad continued to build the program and for the ninth time in 10 seasons, USF can claim a 20 win season. The Cougars were a perfect 17-0 on their home court in the Stewart Center during the 2009-2010 season, on their way to a 25-10 overall record and 13-5 GPAC standing.
Johnson coached four players to All-GPAC honors in 2009-2010; including first team GPAC and third team NAIA All-American guard Matt Malloy.
Johnson coached the 2008-09 Cougars to a Sweet 16 appearance at the NAIA Men's Division II National Basketball Tournament in Point Lookout, Missouri.
The Cougars advanced to the tournament's second round by upsetting third-seeded Cedarville University (Ohio), 66-63, in round one. USF's magic run in the tournament ended in a loss to eventual national Runner-up College of the Ozarks. Despite the defeat, it marked the first time since 2004 that the Cougars advanced to the second round.
Under Johnson's direction, Sioux Falls won the 2008-09 Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) postseason tournament championship. Sioux Falls won a remarkable four road games in eight days in the tournament to earn the GPAC's second automatic bid to nationals. The postseason crown was the third in four years for USF.
Before arriving in Sioux Falls, Johnson was the top assistant coach for three seasons at the University of North Dakota.
Prior to joining the UND coaching staff, Johnson spent the 2004-05 season as head coach at Culver-Stockton College.
In his lone season as head coach, Johnson led the Wildcats to a 16-15 record, an improvement from the team's 12-19 record the season prior to his arrival.
He was named 2004-05 Heart of America Athletic Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the team to the first home conference playoff game in program history.
Prior to arriving at Culver-Stockton, Johnson served as an assistant coach at Minot State from 2001-04. Before that he served as an assistant at Minnesota State, Mankato (1999-2001) and Central College (1998-99) in Pella, Iowa.
Johnson was a two-year starter as a guard, lettering four times, at Central College and graduated in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in exercise science.
He received a master's degree in sports administration from Minnesota State, Mankato, in 2005.
Johnson and his wife, Amy, have one daughter, Bailey.
Johnson's Record at USF: 2010-2011: 24-9 (NAIA National Tournament First Round, GPAC Tournament Champions) 2009-2010: 25-10 (NAIA National Tournament Sweet 16, GPAC Regular Season & Tournament Runner-up) 2008-2009: 20-16 (NAIA National Tournament Sweet 16, GPAC Tournament Champions) Record at USF: 69-35