Nikita Johnson Named Assistant Men's Basketball Coach

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Nikita Johnson Named Assistant Men's Basketball Coach

BATON ROUGE — Nikita Johnson, assistant coach at the University of New Orleans, has been named assistant coach for the LSU basketball team, head coach John Brady announced Saturday.

Johnson comes to LSU after six years with the Privateers and 10 years as an assistant coach on the Division I level. Johnson also coached two years at Murray State, three at Duquesne and one at Tennessee State.

“We’re excited about having Nikita join our men’s basketball staff,” Brady said. “His talents are numerous and he will help us in every aspect of our program. Nikita’s experience as a coach will be a great asset, plus he’s an outstanding recruiter and he communicates well with players.”

Johnson is the first of two vacant assistant coaching positions which Brady must fill to complete LSU’s staff for the 2004-05 season. Associate head coach Butch Pierre returns for his eighth season on the Tiger staff while Mike Giorlando assumes the position of director of basketball operations.

“I grew up on the Florida panhandle on SEC basketball, so I’m very thankful for the opportunity to go to LSU, an elite school both on the SEC and national level,” Johnson said. “I have a lot of respect for Coach Brady and Coach Pierre. I hope that I will bring to the table the things that will help LSU win an SEC title, go deep into the NCAA Tournament and one day contend for the national championship. That is Coach Brady’s goal and that is the goal I share.”

Johnson recently helped UNO head coach Monte Towe lead the Privateers to a 17-14 record, including a trip to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament title game.

“I have a heavy heart as I leave UNO, but I am thankful of what Coach Towe has given me,” Johnson said. “I feel like I’m leaving the program at the right time because they reached the finals of the conference tournament last year, they’re on the verge of winning the conference championship and they are going on to greater things.”

“Our loss is certainly LSU’s gain,” said Towe. “We hate to lose Nikita as he has been a part of this program for the last six years and has helped build the success that we have been able to create the last three seasons. This position, though, is a tremendous opportunity for him and we at the University of New Orleans wish him the best.”

A graduate of the University of West Georgia and Chipola Junior College, the 43-year-old Johnson also served as an assistant coach at each of those schools, as well as Odessa (Texas) College before moving to the Division I level. He served as assistant coach at Murray State from 1993-95, Duquesne from 1995-98, at Tennessee State in 1998-99, and the last four seasons at UNO.

While at Murray State, Johnson helped the Racers win Ohio Valley Conference regular season championships during both of his seasons there, including appearances in the NIT and NCAA Tournaments. The 1993-94 team finished 23-6 and ranked fifth in Division I in scoring.

Johnson was born in Donaldsonville, Ga., and is married to Tonya Ramey of Pittsburgh, Pa.