Minnesota Officially Introduces Ben Johnson as Men’s Basketball Coach
Former Gopher player from 2003-2005
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn — It’s official. Minnesota has made Xavier assistant, Ben Johnson its new men’s basketball head coach. After a 14-15 season, two NCAA appearances and one year over .500 in the big ten in eight years it was time for a change.
Johnson brings a lot to the table for the Gophers. A former player of the program for three years.. A Minneapolis native and ties to many local hoopers in the area.
Under Travis Steele with the Musketeers, Johnson helped recruit a top 30 class the last two seasons. He was even a part of former coach, Richard Pitino’s staff, helping NBA players, Amir Coffey and Daniel Oturu stay in Minnesota.
It makes the message clear going forward: come play at Williams Arena.
“This is something I’ve always dreamed of. I’ve envisioned it. I’ve thought of it,” Johnson said. “I look back to when I was younger coming back to the Barn. Being able to stand on that elevator floor. Being able to sit in that stool next to laurie down at the end of the bench. Those are things that I’ve always thought about. I think with any kid we tell them you gotta dream big and why not? I’ve been in their shoes. I can relate to them. I think I’ve been consistent in my approach in my relationships whether its a high school coach or an AAU coach mom dad or player. Those really strengthen. When you’re consistent, it strengthens relationships. It strengthens trust.”
Former gophers are loving the hire. Coffey and Oturu are on the Los Angeles Clippers. Both said Johnson was the reason they stayed home. Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bikerstaff said Johnson is the type of person you rally around and someone you want to play for.