Kwanza Johnson named Assistant Basketball Coach at Tulsa

Head men’s basketball coach Frank Haith announced that he has added former Tulsa standout Kwanza Johnson to his staff as an assistant coach.
Johnson brings with him 20 years of collegiate coaching experience, including stops at TCU, Georgia, Nevada, Little Rock and Eastern Illinois. A 1995 graduate of TU, Johnson got his start as an administrative assistant under Bill Self for the Golden Hurricane (1997-99) and after a year as an assistant at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, he returned to a spot on the TU coaching staff from 2001-05.
“I’m very excited to welcome Kwanza and his family back to Tulsa,” Haith said. “I’ve been able to watch Kwanza grow in this profession and am extremely happy to add someone with his skill set, knowledge and ability to connect with student-athletes to our coaching staff. He is an incredibly loyal and hard-working person who has been able to work with several high-level coaches and has recruited many high-level student-athletes.
“Additionally, Kwanza has an affection and love for The University of Tulsa. He was on some great teams here and left with two degrees. We know he’s excited to be back home and we are thrilled to have him.”
“I am extremely excited and honored to have the opportunity to join Frank Haith‘s staff at The University of Tulsa,” Johnson said. “It is humbling, and a dream come true for me to return to my alma mater. I appreciate Coach Haith’s belief and trust in me to assist him, as he continues to lead this proud program forward. I am prepared to come in and contribute in any way necessary to keep this program performing at a high level.”
Johnson comes to TU after two seasons (2016-18) as the associate head coach at Little Rock and he spent the previous three years (2013-16) as an assistant coach at TCU. During the 2014-15 season, the Horned Frogs were one of six programs to start 13-0, which remains the best start in program history.
Prior to his time in Fort Worth, Johnson spent time as an assistant at Georgia (2009-13) and Nevada (2006-09). With the Bulldogs, he helped the squad to the NCAA Tournament in his second season on campus. Georgia would go on to win 21 games in 2010-11, which were the program’s most in nine years and the Bulldogs broke into the national rankings for the first time since 2003.
Several frontcourt players excelled under Johnson’s tutelage at Georgia, including Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, who both earned All-Southeastern Conference honors before being selected in the 2011 NBA Draft. Johnson also worked with 2013 SEC Player of the Year Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who went on to be selected eighth overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.
In his three seasons at Nevada, the Wolf Pack totaled 71 wins and won a pair of Western Athletic Conference titles. The squad appeared in the postseason all three years, including an NCAA Tournament bid in 2007.
There, Johnson helped tutor Nick Fazekas, a first-team All-America pick and WAC Player of the Year in 2007, along with JaVale McGee, who was an all-conference pick and selected in the NBA Draft a year later.
Johnson also worked as an assistant at Eastern Illinois (2005-06) before his first stint at TU from 2001-05.
An Oklahoma City native, Johnson was a star on the court during his playing days and came to TU after two seasons at Rose State College. He was named the top JUCO player in the state before choosing the Golden Hurricane and he helped lead Tulsa to a pair of Missouri Valley Conference titles and back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 appearances.
Johnson was elected a team captain as a senior and was named to the league’s All-Defensive Team that season, as well. In all, he totaled 405 points, 300 rebounds, 90 assists and 66 steals in 63 games for the Golden Hurricane.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from TU in 1995 before adding a Juris Doctor degree from the TU College of Law in 1999. He and his wife, Kim, have three children: Kaitlyn, Kendall and Kalli.

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