Illinois State names Johnson as new Assistant Basketball Coach

Illinois State head coach Dan Muller has announced the addition of Rob Johnson to the coaching staff for the 2021-22 season.

“I couldn’t be more excited to add Coach Johnson to our staff,” said Muller. “I got to know Rob while recruiting one of his players, and I quickly realized that he is a coach with integrity, professionalism, and an incredibly bright future. His skill development is one of his greatest skills, and yet I believe he is an all-around coach who can help our players and be a great representative of our program.”

Most recently Johnson was the head coach and program director for the prep and post-graduate program at The Skill Factory (TSF), an organization providing the sports community with best-in-class professional services that engage each athlete uniquely and appropriately. He recently completed his fifth season as head coach at the prep level and has led his teams to the 2016 NACA Prep Championships, 2018 Nike Global Jam Championship, 2019 Global Jam Championship, and the 2021 National Prep Championship.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to be at Illinois State,” said Johnson. “I believe in Coach Muller and his principles and vision, and I want to be able to help. I believe in the talent that is on the team and the talent that we can bring to a conference like that. The tradition, the fan base, the arena, the environment, it is a spot you can win at. I want to do my part to make sure that our team is enjoying the process of getting better and learning how to be successful at the college game. I want to be able to feed into the mental and development side of the game, and help the kids realize how much is in their control by the amount of work that they put in.”

Specializing in skill development for all positions, he was awarded the 2016 NACA Prep Most Outstanding Coach and the 2017 AEBL Coach of the Year. Overall, he has helped send over 80 of his players to play college and professional basketball, 37 at the Division I level.

“I think one of the biggest things I can bring to the Redbirds is my experience at working with athletes of this age,” said Johnson. “I’ve worked with professional, college, and prep athletes – they are all the same in that you need to give them the information on what it will take to be successful. We’ve had success with teams that have had to come together in seven months from all different backgrounds – 12 new players at a time – and having to come together and get them off to college and put a schedule for them to develop and get better and develop an environment of healthy competition where everyone is going for a like goal.”

Just prior to his time at TSF, he worked at Tennessee Preparatory Academy in Memphis, Tennessee, and was able to step in then at TSF and help raise the profile of TSF during his five years there.

Immediately after graduating, he started his coaching career, working at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta during the 2013-14 season, helping the Stormy Petrels to a school-record 21-7 overall mark and a berth into the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Tournament championship game.

Johnson played two years each at Marist (2009-11) and Norfolk State (2011-13). He was named to the All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) third team as a senior and was the only player with the Spartans to start all 33 games. He was named to the All-MEAC Academic Team and to the All-Tournament team during his junior season. During his time with the Spartans, Norfolk State had their first MEAC championship in 2012, and the first undefeated conference season in 2013.

Tagged with: