Trent Johnson named new men’s basketball coach


    TCU Athletics formally introduced Trent Johnson as the men’s basketball team's 21st head coach at a press conference Monday in the Four Sevens Team Room.

    Johnson, 55, takes over for Jim Christian, who accepted the head job at Ohio University last week.

    "I can't express how excited I am about the challenge in front of us," Johnson said.  "I've been doing this for a long time and one of the things I've never lost sight of are quality universities, quality people and, more importantly, quality players. The challenge is one that we're going to have to all do together."

    Johnson comes to TCU from LSU, where he spent four seasons as head coach, compiling a 58-59 record and guiding the Tigers to the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2009.

    Johnson’s next three years at LSU weren’t as successful.

    The Tigers had back-to-back 11-20 seasons before going 18-15 this past season and receiving a bid to the NIT, where they lost in the first round to Oregon.

    Prior to LSU, Johnson spent four seasons at both Stanford and Nevada.

    Johnson, an assistant with the Cardinal under Mike Montgomery from 1996-1999, guided Nevada to the Sweet 16 in 2004 before taking the job at Stanford the following year. The 10th-seeded Wolfpack’s Sweet 16 trip was its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1985 and included a win over 2nd-seeded Gonzaga in the second round.

    Johnson led Stanford to a Sweet 16 berth as a two-seed in 2008.

    TCU hasn’t made the NCAA tournament since 1998, when Billy Tubbs' 5th-seeded Horned Frogs lost to Florida State in the first round.

    Johnson said school's upcoming move to the Big 12 played a big role in him coming to TCU.

    "The Big 12 is very attractive," Johnson said. "Kids want to play at an elite level and against elite competition. For me, that wasn't as attractive as working with student athletes and being in a situation where my wife and my family are so comfortable about this being where we're going to be."

    As for how the Frogs will fare in their new conference, Johnson was quick to dismiss any tangible expectations.

    "That's a loaded question," Johnson said when asked how quick he'd be able to take TCU to the NCAA tournament. "We got to get in the gym and work first."

    Johnson met with TCU players Monday afternoon and was planning on calling recruits later in the day.

    This story was clarified to reflect the year Nevada went to the NCAA tournament.