INTERIM TAG REMOVED: Johnson named Head Coach at CSUN

Photo Courtesy CSUN Athletics

CSUN Athletics has announced that the interim tag has been removed from head men’s basketball coach Trent Johnson‘s title. Johnson is officially the seventh head coach in Matador men’s basketball history.

“We are extremely pleased to have Trent Johnson continue to lead our men’s basketball program,” said Mike Izzi, CSUN’s Director of Athletics. “We will continue to support Trent’s efforts in continuing to build upon the culture he has worked to establish. Coach Johnson has a long history of coaching success, in addition to supporting student welfare and achievement. He will continue to bring that focus to the student-athletes at CSUN to ensure their continued success on and off the court.”

Appointed interim head coach of the Matadors on July 20, 2021, Johnson led the program through the 2021-22 season.

Prior to the season, CSUN was unanimously selected to finish in last place in the Big West by the league’s head coaches and members of the media, but the Matadors defied those expectations, finishing eighth in the conference standings while dealing with a multitude of injuries.  

Under Johnson and his coaching staff, sophomore guard Atin Wright earned All-Big West Honorable Mention accolades this past season. Wright improved his scoring average from his freshman season by nearly 10 points, as he finished the campaign eighth in the Big West in points per game (14.5).  

As a group, the Matadors also finished second in the Big West in steals per game at 7.2.     

“I would like to thank Mike Izzi and the CSUN administration for placing their trust in my leadership over the past season and for the opportunity to be the head coach of the Matadors moving forward,” said Johnson. “I’m excited for the future of CSUN Basketball. We look forward to continuing to build a program that the university, CSUN alumni and the community will be most proud of.”

Johnson has collected 283 career wins in his head coaching career. At three of his previous coaching stops, he had winning tenures and he was named coach of the year in three different conferences: the Western Athletic Conference (2002-03), Pac-10 Conference (2007-08) and Southeastern Conference (2008-09).

He also has led three programs to the NCAA Tournament as a head coach, including earning two Sweet 16 appearances and five NCAA berths.

Johnson began his head coaching career at Nevada where he spent five seasons (1999-04), guiding the Wolfpack to a WAC championship and the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 19 seasons. That tournament run would culminate in the Nevada’s first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2004.

Johnson served as head coach at Stanford from 2004-08, compiling an impressive 80-48 record over that time span. He became the only head coach in the program’s history to guide the Cardinal to the postseason in each of his first four seasons, highlighted by a NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2008.

After departing Stanford, Johnson coached at LSU for four seasons (2008-12), where he would win a SEC regular season championship in his first year with the program in 2009. Johnson also served as head coach of TCU from 2012-16, coaching the Horned Frogs’ first four seasons in the Big 12 Conference.

Johnson has coached at the Division I level since 1986. He previously served as an assistant coach with Utah (1986-89), Washington (1989-92), Rice (1992-96), Stanford (1996-99) and Louisville (2017-18) while he also spent two seasons as a deputy analyst and director of player of development with California (2019-21).  

A 1983 graduate of Boise State, Johnson played collegiate basketball with the Broncos from 1974-78. Johnson helped lead Boise State to the 1976 Big Sky Tournament championship and the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance that season.

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