Kemp names Damon Johnson as new assistant coach
Kemp names Damon Johnson as new assistant coach
Monday, October 1, 2012

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 1, 2012) – ETSU head women’s basketball coach Karen Kemp announced Monday afternoon that Johnson City local, Damon Johnson has been named the Lady Bucs new assistant coach and will assist with day-to-day operations, recruiting, travel coordinator and working with the guards.

“We are really excited to have Damon join our staff, because he is local guy who has played at every level with a great amount of basketball knowledge. He will be a major asset to our program and will definitely be a big help in getting us back on top in the conference,” noted Kemp.

He spent the last two years as a men’s basketball assistant coach for King College. While at King, Johnson helped guide the Tornados to back-to-back Conference Carolinas Regular Season Championships and King’s first-ever appearance to the Division II NCAA Tournament.  Last year Johnson guided two guards to all-conference seasons and a newcomer to Freshman of the Year honors.

Prior to joining the Tornado’s staff, Johnson spent two years as an assistant coach for two Johnson City area schools after spending the last 11 years playing professionally.  He played professionally in Europe for 10 seasons before returning to the United States. He began his professional career playing in Iceland where he was crowned Iceland League MVP in consecutive seasons from 1997-1999 and led his team to three Icelandic Regular Season Championships.  In 2003, he guided his team to a 2003 Icelandic Cup championship and was named to the All-Star team twice. In addition, Johnson earned a silver medal playing with Iceland in the 2002 Small Nations Olympics.

Johnson then moved on to play in the Spanish professional leagues for Cantabria, Huelva, L’Hospitalet, Lleida, and Gescrap BB.  While playing in Spain, he was named to one All-Star team, won a league championship and was named to the Spanish All-Defensive Team in 2006. He concluded his professional career playing for the Smoky Mountain Jam of the ABA in their inaugural season in 2008-09.

Prior to going pro, Johnson played one season at Hiwassee Junior College (Madisonville, Tenn.) where he was named a First Team All-American. He then transferred to the University of Tennessee and played for the Volunteers from 1994-96. In his three years at UT he was a two-year starter, voted Best Team Player in 1995 and Most Versatile Player after his senior season in 1996.  

As a Johnson City native, he played for current King College head coach, George Pitts while attending Science Hill High School from 1989 to 1992. Johnson helped bring Science Hill a state title in 1990 and a state runner-up finish in 1991. His teams won the conference title all four years of his playing career plus won three district and regional titles. He also has a place in the Science Hill High School Hall of Fame.

Johnson graduated with bachelor’s degree in child psychology from Tennessee in 1996 and currently resides in Johnson City.

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