Indiana names Kenny Johnson assistant coach

Indiana has confirmed the hiring of Towson assistant coach Kenny Johnson as the replacement for Bennie Seltzer, who left last month for Samford.

Here’s the release from IU media relations:

Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has announced the hiring of Kenny Johnson as an assistant coach for the Hoosiers. He replaces Bennie Seltzer who recently was named head coach at Samford University.

“We have been impressed by Kenny and have followed him for years,” said Crean. “He will bring a solid mix of personality, work ethic and toughness to our staff. I’ve always admired his ability to get the most out of the young men he has worked with. We are excited about his potential and look forward to him working with our entire staff.”

Johnson, a native of Oxon Hill, Maryland, comes to IU from Towson where he joined the staff last year after serving as associate head coach at Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Virginia for four years. Johnson’s background also includes being named the associate head coach at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in 2002 and in 2006 he became the associate head coach at Dr. Henry Wise High School. The following year he began his coaching run at Paul VI.

“I am extremely proud and honored to be part of the Hoosier family,” said Johnson. “Indiana University is a place with unbelievable tradition and I am looking forward to continuing to help young men reach their potential.”


Johnson served six years as vice president/assistant director of basketball operations of TeamTakeover and head coach of its 16 and under age group. Since 2002 he has been an integral part of high school programs, including TeamTakeover that produced a total of 53 Division I scholarship players and a state championship (PVI – 2009). His travel team tournament ledger includes the prestigious King James Classic (2009, 2010) and the Orlando National Super Showcase (2009). TeamTakeOver is the program that produced current Hoosiers Victor Oladipo and Maurice Creek.

“I’ve known Coach Crean for a long time and what’s most impressive and easy to see is how family oriented he and his staff are,” said Johnson. “I think that carries over to their relationship with their players as well and I take that responsibility of building on their success and doing things the right way very seriously.”

A 1999 graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park where he was a Benjamin Banneker Scholarship recipient and earned his degree in cell, molecular biology and genetics, Johnson’s playing career was cut short due to an injury in his second year of varsity basketball at Oxon Hill High School.

In addition to his many years as a camp coach at Eastern Invitational, as well as Reebok Headliner Camp, Johnson was a guest clinician at the New England Basketball Coaching Clinic at Reebok Headquarters. He has also served as a camp and tournament director, beginning with the first Annual National High School Hoop Festival in 2007 and the first Annual DMV Basketball Coaching Clinic in 2008.

He and his wife, Doreen, have two sons, Amare (9) and Mekai (6).

  • http://pestcontrolindianapolis.net/ Matt1833

    Sounds like a great hire, glad to have him aboard.  A degree in molecular biology…certainly no dummy.  Let’s keep the flywheel moving!

  • Thomas

    CTC has things under control. Everyone needs to sit back and enjoy. Kenny welcome to Hoosier nation.

  • Ceosports1

    Full disclosure:  I am a personal friend of Coach Johnson’s and have known him for many years.  IUJack, you come off as very ignorant and shouldnt post about things you know very little about. “Real” asst coaches and “hard work”????

    Coach Johnson has worked his butt off for over a decade.  I was with him when he was going to the gym at 7am to work kids out, when he was washing uniforms, when he was driving kids up and down the east coast, attending tournaments, and coaching clinics.  I have seen him to the major work in building two very successful high school programs, and one of the best AAU programs in the country. 

    Kudos to Coach Crean for recognizing his talent and hard work and giving him an opportunity.  I know that Coach Johnson developed a relationship with Coach Crean when IU was recruiting Team Takeover players and that Johnson impressed Crean with his spot on scouting tips of a team IU played in the tourny this year.  I also know that Coach Johnson was getting serious interests from a Big 12 school and 2 Big East schools to join their staffs.

    So instead of posting like an ignorant clown, IUJack, maybe you should just see how things play out and be excited about the potential of bringing in an up and coming coach who works his butt off, builds great relationships with players and their families, AND knows Xs and Os EXTREMELY well.

  • marcusgresham

    I’d withhold that judgment unless I’d sat in on the interview.  Not making comparisons by any stretch, but how old and experienced was Bob Knight when he got the job?

  • HobbGoblin

    Really? Bring race into it? Don’t we need the right guy for the job? If he’s African American or Mexican or Martian, who cares? I thought we wanted to be judged by the content of our character? Don ‘t cheapen his hiring. Just sayin.

  • HobbGoblin

    Really? Bring race into it? Don’t we need the right guy for the job? If he’s African American or Mexican or Martian, who cares? I thought we wanted to be judged by the content of our character? Don ‘t cheapen his hiring. Just sayin.

  • shime

    Easy now I think this is a good assistant they hired. And there is nothing that points to trouble at all about this guy. From what I read he is a big family guy and he respects the tradition of this IU family. CTC said he has known and followed this guy for years. The only thing I can say about him is I am glad he is here and welcome.

  • shime

    Wow my man you sound like you have an axe to grind with this guy and you know  nothing about him. Take a deep breath  everything is going to be alright. He might not have the resume you would like but I doubt Coach Knights resume looked impressive to alot of people when we hired him.

  • IUJack

    What?  Knight came up thru the ranks the right way, not because he had connections.  This is peddling influnce, plain and simple.  No honor in that.  As to withholding judgement, when has that ever stopped anyone on here from hurtling judgements/scorn at other schools and their actions?  Thought better of you than this Marcusgresham. 

  • Jcristee83

    You wouldn’t have said any of this if IU would have hired Calbert Cheney and it was his job to have, with much less experience than Kenny Johnson (other than playing obviously). I would withhold judging a guy like this, many people are more talented than their experience would indicate and I am willing to bet Kenny Johnson is. CTC wouldn’t have hired somebody that he didn’t believe was great.

  • Geoff_85

    I’m so sick of the idiotic discussion of Towson’s record. Johnson was an ASSISTANT COACH and for one season, so you can shut up about the record losing streak because he wasn’t there for every one of those games. He may not be guaranteeing players, but he is guaranteeing a connection in the DC area. How many assistants guarantees players? None. Furthermore, you have absolutely no clue what this man knows about basketball. Were you in the interview? Yeah, I didn’t think so. The only thing that reeks of anything is your comment about scandal, and I won’t tell you what it reeks of, but it rhymes with ‘spit’ and even has the same amount of letters. Why would you speculate about scandal against your own coach and team? No good can come of that and I could make the argument that only bad could come of it, thus making you a detriment to IU basketball.

  • jahhoosier

    Here’s how I read the delay between his obvious hiring and the announcement: IU was engaged in deep investigation into his background, the likes of which not many of us other than high level federal and corporate executive employees have ever endured.

    I may be wrong about that, but I doubt it.

    As such, I wouldn’t worry about any scandal. Coach Johnson just took a different path. Besides, if you think years of experience as a college recruiter on a person’s resume is a sign that somebody has NOT been engaged in scandalous behavior, I’ve got one of those bridges in Arizona for you.

    Look, I’m one of those who wishes that AAU would just go away. But not everybody connected to it is a sinner and it sure as heck is true that not everyone on the college recruiting side of it are saints.

    Will Purdue and Kentucky fans maybe try to make hay of it, because of the Towson record during his short stint there? (Which was too short to be his fault…was Coach Crean a terrible coach because of our record his first year, or first three?)

    They probably will. But we know all about what’s going on with recruiting at Kentucky and all about Matt Painter’s ethical standards when it comes to negative recruiting. So, let them chatter. If there was going to be a larger story suggesting scandal, as you fear, it would have already happened by now.

  • jahhoosier

    Here’s how I read the delay between his obvious hiring and the announcement: IU was engaged in deep investigation into his background, the likes of which not many of us other than high level federal and corporate executive employees have ever endured.

    I may be wrong about that, but I doubt it.

    As such, I wouldn’t worry about any scandal. Coach Johnson just took a different path. Besides, if you think years of experience as a college recruiter on a person’s resume is a sign that somebody has NOT been engaged in scandalous behavior, I’ve got one of those bridges in Arizona for you.

    Look, I’m one of those who wishes that AAU would just go away. But not everybody connected to it is a sinner and it sure as heck is true that not everyone on the college recruiting side of it are saints.

    Will Purdue and Kentucky fans maybe try to make hay of it, because of the Towson record during his short stint there? (Which was too short to be his fault…was Coach Crean a terrible coach because of our record his first year, or first three?)

    They probably will. But we know all about what’s going on with recruiting at Kentucky and all about Matt Painter’s ethical standards when it comes to negative recruiting. So, let them chatter. If there was going to be a larger story suggesting scandal, as you fear, it would have already happened by now.

  • Geoff_85

    Alex, why has this comment not been deleted? Accusatory comments of scandal against IU should be deleted, shouldn’t they? I’ve certainly seen comments deleted for less.

  • Geoff_85

    You don’t know that he was hired just because of connections, do you? No you don’t. The DC connection was likely just icing on the cake. So Marcus is right. Unless you were there in the interview, quit making judgments based on what you see on the surface. You know nothing about this guy and his coaching ability, so shut up and trust your coach.

  • Geoff_85

    Thank you for shedding light on that.

  • IUJeff

    I guess the world needs negative folks to balance things but we don’t need them here.

    Not to mention that calling yourself HoosierBuckeye is in itself, an oxymoron. Would be like me calling myself IUpUKe.

  • millzy32

    Sorry I think it’s the BMV now.  Bureau instead of Department in most states.  Sorry I had to go here.

    What does your form of DMV mean anyway?  Delaware, Maryland, Virginia??????  Is this correct?

    Or did you mean that the Department of Motor Vehicles is gonna represent us soon?

    Go Hoosiers.

  • Peter

    Please don’t be naive.

  • MillaRed

    I don’t think that’s racey by Peter at all. It’s a plain simple fact. First of all, it’s only fair to have minorities at the top of this program. Secondly, important for communication. The guy is from DC, he knows the streets, the kids, the upbringings. Not everyone we recruit are of the silver spoon variety.

  • MillaRed

    I think this was ALL about recruiting. The pattern seems to be hiring people with ties, then teaching them how to run a program. Not the other way around.

  • MillaRed

    SNAP!!!!!!!!

  • IUFAN87

    Scandal for what….I hope the guy can guarantee some players it isnt cheating by hiring a assistant coach and players that know him and want to play for him follow it is life and if it is a illegal then they better start looking into other programs not to mention UK how you think they get there 1 and done BY CONNECTIONS the key to success in life if you havent figured it out yet hope your not over 20!!

  • NaplesHoosier

    CEO, you just put a very big smile on my face!  Thanks for the insight.  I’m sure everyone appreciates it.  Welcome Coach Johnson to be best program in the country.  Also, hey all, yes UK BS is going on about our new coach.  John Clay of Lex. hearld Leader is starting the crap about Towson and even pronounces Anya’s last name as ANplayboy if you can believe that!  But what do you expect out of a bunch of Morons.!!!  Let’s play them one more year in Rupp and beat them by 30 points, then tell them to kiss off and we’ll go schedule Kansas and Louisville and leave those jerks to their fantasies!
    Ok! nough said!  :)

  • DarkSouth

    There is no “right way”, only right people. 
     
    The “right way” has produced guys like Calipari, Sampson, Bruce Pearl.  The non-traditional way has brought in guys like Brad Stevens and Pat Chambers.   Talent and character aren’t learned on the job. 
     
    And no kid is going to a school he doesn’t want to just because some guy who coached in their AAU system a couple years back orders it.  Personal connections may give someone a foot in the door, but you’re seriously underestimating the savvy of these kids if you think that’ll seal the deal.

  • DarkSouth

    I like his background.  I think some guys who’ve done the grad assistant -> director of basketball ops -> asst. coach route can be a bit insulated. 
     
    Guys like Johnson can bring a different perspective, which I think is secondary benefit he brings to the program along with his talent.

  • IUJack

    Love how the mods removed my post.  Nothing inflamitory about it, would welcome a discussion with them as to why it was necessary to remove or why they allow you to call me a clown and ignorant.  Losing respect for the mods of this site. 

    My point was the hire “in my opinion” reeks of peddling access to kids.  No one on this site has any problem saying much worse about other schools/coaches based upon actions less blatant than this hire.  In fact many on here have thrown scorn at this practice when done by other schools.  Now all of a sudden it is OK.

    Maybe I am not being fair in accessing the work and talent of an AAU coach who had one year of assistant coaching experience at a bottom tier school, but really?  His resume’ matches up to assistant coaches with years of experience from major conferences?  Any of you reading this would be upset in a similar situation if someone got hired over you with “much” less experience.  

    Yes, we all perfer the style of AAU basketball, so we should hire AAU coaches who teach that style.  Makes sense, I stand corrected……  

  • SCHoosier

    I think you can make your argument..could also say (on the negative side) that this was payoff for Kenny’s help with VO and Mo. Crean wasn’t looking for an X’s and O guy here..or maybe even a position coach..altho KJ’s supporters believe he’s underrated in those areas. Crean wanted a great recuriter..who has the Crean work ethic..and access/relationships in one of the most talent rich areas of the country. Seems to me he got one…the coaching assignment will work its way out.

  • guest

    Actually it is racist.  It was a comment that was made only because of the coach’s skin…..what else would you call it?

  • 888

    Couldnt agree more. CTC knows whats hes doing and Kenny was an assistant not the head coach. The Towsom record is not his fault at all.

  • 888

    Couldnt agree more. CTC knows whats hes doing and Kenny was an assistant not the head coach. The Towsom record is not his fault at all.

  • marcusgresham

    I don’t think he’s bringing race into it in a negative way, he’s being realistic. 

    For example, look at Georgetown’s program. While that university is predominantly white, the basketball team has been the complete opposite since John Thompson was the coach and a lot of that has to do with the fact that those kids liked the fact that they got to play for a coach who looked like they did.  

  • marcusgresham

    Yeah, the Department of Motor Vehicles–that’s who you want to model your defensive intensity after, because no one has a hateful, intimidating scowl like a DMV worker.

    Yes, actually, that’s called the “Delmarva” region, so that’s where he’s going with the DMV.

  • marcusgresham

    Yeah, the Department of Motor Vehicles–that’s who you want to model your defensive intensity after, because no one has a hateful, intimidating scowl like a DMV worker.

    Yes, actually, that’s called the “Delmarva” region, so that’s where he’s going with the DMV.

  • marcusgresham

    I was just saying that Knight was a really young, inexperienced guy when IU hired him. I’m sure there were other people interested in the job with tons more experience but he showed an ability and knowledge that impressed people.  Perhaps Kenny had a similar experience in his interview with Coach Crean, leading the Coach to say “there’s something about this guy that I absolutely love and I want him on my staff.”

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  • IUJack

    There was no cussing and I don’t believe I was disrespectful to anyone. So I can only assume that because I implied that a real assistant coach should have been hired for the position that is called “Assistant Coach” and that those who had done so put in hard work over years to get there. Sorry, I don’t see Mr. Johnson as a real assistant coach (I.E., one who earned it the old fashion way by actually working thru the ranks to the job). I don’t think he earned it and said so. Guess that is being disrespectful. I know nothing about his character, he can be a saint for all I know (that would be nice), but I still feel it is wrong that he was hired for that job. Why don’t they just be truthful and call it “Head Recruiter”. Sorry the hire does not seem to hold to the “Win, but with honor and integrity” mantra that most on here spout.
    Also the disrespectful part only seems to apply to Crean, his staff, and the fan favorits on here. Calling me a clown/ignorant did not seem to count nor does it apply to things said about other schools and their coaches.

  • IUJack

    There was no cussing and I don’t believe I was disrespectful to anyone. So I can only assume that because I implied that a real assistant coach should have been hired for the position that is called “Assistant Coach” and that those who had done so put in hard work over years to get there. Sorry, I don’t see Mr. Johnson as a real assistant coach (I.E., one who earned it the old fashion way by actually working thru the ranks to the job). I don’t think he earned it and said so. Guess that is being disrespectful. I know nothing about his character, he can be a saint for all I know (that would be nice), but I still feel it is wrong that he was hired for that job. Why don’t they just be truthful and call it “Head Recruiter”. Sorry the hire does not seem to hold to the “Win, but with honor and integrity” mantra that most on here spout.
    Also the disrespectful part only seems to apply to Crean, his staff, and the fan favorits on here. Calling me a clown/ignorant did not seem to count nor does it apply to things said about other schools and their coaches.

  • Guest

    It’s definitely still fresh in my mind…. that’s why I can understand some of the posters here being a little apprehensive. We just have to hope for the best and pray the major AAU ties don’t end up getting us back on the NCAA bad-list and spoiling the postive momentum we have going.

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