NAIA NEWS: Cal Maritime hires Johnson as new Men’s Basketball Head Coach

Former Antelope Valley head assistant coach Colin Johnson will lead Cal Maritime’s men’s basketball program as its new head coach, as announced by Director of Athletics Karen Lee Yoder.

“I would like to thank Director of Athletics Karen Lee Yoder, Associate Athletic Director Monica Heuer and the Cal Maritime community for this incredible opportunity. I am excited to return to Northern California and strengthening a program built on a strong foundation,” said Johnson.

“I am thrilled to welcome Colin to Cal Maritime,” said Yoder. “His coaching experience, combined with his knowledge of the game and commitment to helping student-athletes reach their potential and succeed in the classroom, and on the court, is why he is a perfect fit for this program.”

Under Johnson’s leadership and tutelage, Antelope Valley won the California Pacific Conference regular season championship and clinched a berth in the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship.

After reaching the Round of 32 during their national postseason run, the No. 20-ranked Pioneers concluded the 2021-22 season with a 26-3 overall record, a new program mark, and now hold three new Cal Pac single-season records: total wins, point differential (+13.9) and points per game (83.7).

As UAV’s head assistant, Johnson handled the program’s scouting, recruiting, player development programs and managed all aspects of its video services.

The Keelhaulers’ new head coach holds a well-deserved reputation for maximizing his teams’ on-court talents after leading Western New England to its second semifinal appearance in the last decade, Springfield Commonwealth Academy to its inaugural Power 5 Conference title, and the University of West Georgia to its No. 24 national ranking and deep playoff run.

Said former West Georgia associate athletic director and head coach Michael Cooney, “He is excellent in showcasing his ability to take on any role within a program. His passion for the game, and his competitive drive led to success everywhere he coached.

“He will continue to win wherever he goes, he is one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the country.”

Johnson’s coaching career began in 2015 at Sierra College, his alma mater, where his basketball acumen helped the Wolverines capture its inaugural CCCAA postseason victory and advance to the state playoffs in each of his seasons on staff.

Seventeen Sierra College student-athletes continued their athletic careers at the Division I, II, III or NAIA levels; 14 earned scholarships due to Johnson’s coaching.

At West Georgia, he made a quick impact on the program since the 2017-18 squad was nationally ranked and advanced to the Gulf South Conference playoffs — an accomplishment also enjoyed by the ’18-’19 team.

Prior to joining Western New England’s men’s basketball staff, Johnson helped Springfield Commonwealth Academy enjoy one of its most successful seasons in school history by turning a three-win team into one that collected 26 victories the following year and became the No. 8-ranked school in the nation.

Familiar traits followed Johnson to Western New England: Returning to action following a COVID-shortened season, it led al Commonwealth Coast Conference team in offensive rebounds per game and possessed the league’s second-stingiest defense.

By taking the helm of CSUM’s men’s basketball program, Johnson is returning home since he grew up in Sacramento. After graduating from Sierra College in 2011, he earned a bachelor’s in business management from Wentworth Institute of Technology and continued his formal education at the University of West Georgia, earning his MBA in 2018.

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