James Johnson, who has more than 15 years coaching experience and 20 years playing experience, has been hired as the women’s basketball coach at Shoreline Community College. He replaces Alisa Scott, who coached the Shoreline team last season.
Johnson, who hails from Brooklyn, New York, has been devoted to basketball since he taught for the Special Olympics at the ripe old age of 24. Although his experience has taken him from coast to coast, Johnson said he is here to stay. “I want the student athletes to know that I am here for them,” Johnson said.
Coaching experience includes Snow Valley Basketball School, head men’s basketball coach at Evergreen High School and head coach of the women’s team at Forest Ridge and Kentridge high schools. Johnson continues to provide basketball clinics for youth at the Magnolia Community Center for all ages and skill levels. The reason behind his commitment to working with young athletes is that he wants to give them the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential to further their basketball skills.
“At Shoreline, I want to strengthen the program within the community college arena.” Johnson hopes to take his team to regionals his first season of coaching. “Bringing my assistant, Coach Young, will definitely help me with that goal,” he said referring to James Young who he coached with at Forest Ridge high School. “When I got the phone call about the job at Shoreline, I called James first thing and asked him to be my assistant coach. We’re a good team,” he said.
Johnson said that his greatest strength is his ability to adapt to different situations and different kinds of teams. “I can think quickly on my feet,” he said.
Although he believes in hard work and commitment, Johnson’s philosophy is to have fun. “I tell my kids to enjoy what they are doing and to use it as a vessel to take them to their next destination.”
Johnson comes to Shoreline just in time to recruit for next year’s team. “I’ve talked to students about our program, the college’s academic programs and our graduation rates,” Johnson said. The most important point that he made to prospective players is that he will be here for them throughout their time playing ball at Shoreline. Johnson is currently recruiting players from all around the region, including as far west as Port Angeles and Aberdeen. He said he is also talking to coaches and students in Alaska, Hawaii and California.
He graduated from high school in Denver, Colorado, and earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and his master’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix. He and his wife, Carmen keep busy taking their nine year-old triplets, Savannah, Vanessa and Malik to their sporting events – each one of them involved in a number of competitive sports teams.