Director of Athletics Chris Del Conte along with Chancellor Victor Boschini and over 100 men’s basketball fans welcomed men’s basketball Head Coach Trent Johnson to the university at a reception in Dee J. Kelly Alumni Visitor’s Center on Monday evening.
Throughout his countrywide search, Del Conte said he heard mention of Johnson’s name numerous times before naming him head of the program in April.
“He understands what it means to be a private institution. He understands what it means to win and to build a program,” Del Conte said.
Johnson brings with him Assistant Coach Donny Guerinoni. Guerinoni played under Johnson during his time in Nevada for two years, before coaching with him for four years at Stanford and another four years at LSU.
Having the correct balance between academics and athletics is one thing that attracted them to TCU, Guerinoni said.
During the reception, Johnson discussed hopes for the program, the transition into the Big 12 Conference and where the team currently stands in recruiting.
Johnson acknowledged his latest recruit, six-foot-ten Aaron Durley out of Fort Bend Bush High School in Houston.
Derly’s size and strength will give him the ability to contribute right away, Guerinoni said.
Johnson said he plans to add one more player to the roster, and that he is not aiming to sign a recruit out of high school or junior college specifically but is instead “looking for the best player.”
Johnson said he is committed to last year’s team and continuing to make them better.
“I think we have a great base in terms of a team to work with,” Guerinoni said. “We need to add a couple of specific positions and skill sets just to add to the depth and to the quality of the team.”
Coming in during a transitional period for the university, Johnson said moving conferences is not a new concept for him, and he looks forward to the opportunities in the Big 12.
Johnson said that “in the past ten years, sixty percent of teams in the Big 12 have been to the NCAA tournament.”
“We’re in a really good position with ten teams,” Johnson said. “That means six out of ten teams will have a chance to go to postseason.”
Mitch Johnson is currently in the hiring process for the director of basketball operations position. Mitch Johnson played at Stanford for the 2005-2009 seasons and played point guard under Trent Johnson when he took the team to the Sweet Sixteen.
Mitch Johnson said he sees promise for Trent Johnson at TCU and experienced firsthand his unique way of motivating kids in a way that will lead to successful seasons in the future.
“He’s very, very good at finding ways to get guys to play hard and to improve not only as players, but as men,” Mitch Johnson said.